Brian Roberts and the New York Yankees have completed their one-year, $2 million contract.
The deal was agreed to Dec. 17 and finalized Tuesday — three days after a spot on the 40-man roster opened when Alex Rodriguez was suspended for the season for violations of baseball’s drug agreement and labor contract.
The 36-year-old Roberts, an All-Star in 2005 and 2007, is an option to replace Robinson Cano, who signed with the Seattle Mariners. Roberts, who had spent his entire 13-year major league career with the Baltimore Orioles, has not played a full season since 2009 because of injuries. He hit 249 with eight homers and 39 RBIs in 77 games last year.
Roberts raises the Yankees’ luxury-tax payroll to about $165 million, including benefits — the exact amount is uncertain pending a determination on how Rodriguez will be accounted for. A-Rod originally was listed at $27.5 million, but arbitrator Fredric Horowitz ruled the suspension will cost him 162/183rds of his $25 million salary this year, which comes to $22,131,148.
New York hopes to be under the $189 million tax threshold this year.