New York, NY - Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the New York Yankees have officially signed shortstop Brendan Ryan to a two-year, $5-million deal. The deal can reach $10-million in total value with incentives and a third-year option.
The Yankees acquired Ryan from the Mariners last September to fill in at shortstop when they realized that Derek Jeter would not be healthy in time to play out the final 17 games of the regular season. While Ryan’s bat is one of the worst among major-league shortstops – he hit .197 last season – his glove, on the other hand, is regarded as one of the best in the league – he’s posted a career .978 fielding percentage over seven seasons.
Derek Jeter figures to return relatively healthy come Spring Training in 2014, but as he enters his 20th season in the majors, Jeter’s durability figures to only decline. As such, Ryan will provide the Yankees with a backup option should Jeter go down, and could also serve as a defensive replacement late in games if Jeter’s range takes another significant dip in 2014. Ryan has also seen significant time at second base and third base in his big-league career (59 and 29 games, respectively), so he could, in theory, go to either position if the Yankees prove incapable of acquiring Robinson Cano/a Cano replacement or Alex Rodriguez does indeed get suspended.
Michael Natelli is a Staff Writer for Pro Sports Extra.