Roberts officially signs one-year deal with Yankees
After spending 13 years with Orioles, veteran gives club another infield option
NEW YORK -- The Yankees officially announced Tuesday that they have signed veteran second baseman Brian Roberts to a one-year, $2 million contract, adding another capable option to the infield mix. New York has signed Roberts and Kelly Johnson this winter after Robinson Cano signed a free-agent deal with Seattle.
Roberts, a two-time All-Star, had spent his entire career with the Orioles, and he's a .278 hitter with 1,452 hits in 13 seasons. The switch-hitter has led the American League in doubles twice and in stolen bases once, but injuries have kept him from playing more than 80 games in four straight seasons.
Baltimore drafted Roberts with the 50th overall selection in the 1999 First-Year Player Draft, and he made his big league debut during the 2001 season. He led the AL with 50 doubles in 2004 and was an All-Star in '05, but his season ended abruptly at Yankee Stadium.
Roberts dislocated his left elbow on a collision with New York's Bubba Crosby in September 2005, but he returned to bat .286 with 10 home runs in '06. Roberts batted .290 in ' 07 and was named to the All-Star team, and he finished the year with a career-best and league-high 50 steals.
Roberts, 36, had 600 at-bats in both 2008 and '09 before running into a bizarre spate of injuries that effectively derailed his career. Roberts missed time due to an abdominal injury and a concussion in '10, and post-concussion syndrome all but wiped out his '11 season.
The fleet-footed infielder was able to return to the Orioles in June 2012, but he injured his right hip in early July and wound up missing the rest of the season. Roberts batted .249 with eight home runs in 77 games for Baltimore last year and missed time due to a strained hamstring.
Roberts is one of just four players in Major League history -- along with Hall of Famers Tris Speaker, Paul Waner and Stan Musial -- to have three 50-double seasons. Roberts also set the Major League record for the most doubles in a season (56) by a switch-hitter in 2009.
Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.