Yankees Sign Ronnie Belliard

Via Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes:

Source: Ronnie Belliard and Yankees agree minor league contract. Belliard will earn $825K plus incentives if make MLB club.

Belliard, 37 in April, has a career OPS+ of 96 and is coming off a 2010 season where he had just a .622 OPS. He plays mainly first, second, and third bases, but he does have limited experience at shortstop as well. He’s about league average at each position.

I like this deal because Belliard is potentially a better player than Ramiro Pena, but I don’t like it because Willy Aybar is still available.

The two players are actually very similar. They both have career OPS+’s of 96 and each primarily play three infield positions with the exception being shortstop. The biggest thing is though that Belliard is coming off a terrible season and is nine years older than Aybar.

With Aybar on the market it doesn’t make sense to sign Belliard. Maybe the Yankees tried and couldn’t come to an agreement with Aybar, but it seems likely they are needlessly searching for the best deal instead of the best baseball player.

Again though, at least he’s an upgrade over Pena whose days as a Yankee may be over.

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