Tuesday, June 24, 2014
Martin Prado Should Be The New Kelly Johnson
The other day my colleague and good friend Bryan Van Dusen brought up the possibility of the New York Yankees trading for a Martin Prado to replace Brian Roberts on the club. While I agree that Prado would be a good acquisition I think Bryan was off just a little. Prado should replace Kelly Johnson, not Roberts, and here is why. It is worth mentioning, before we get too deep into this, that Prado is signed through the 2016 season at $11 million annually for the rest of this season and 2015-2016.
The first reason for not wanting Prado to replace Roberts is this is a typical Yankees move signing a veteran guy long term to block a prospect like Rob Refsnyder. The second reason is I do not believe Alex Rodriguez can be effective in 2015 after basically sitting out for two consecutive seasons late into his 30's. The third reason is Kelly Johnson needs to go and go now. Roberts plays adequate defense and is a switch hitter, if worse came to worse for Roberts he could be a pretty damn good bench guy for the Yankees. Johnson is basically a bench guy for the Yankees and is not having a great time at it.
Johnson was brought in because of his versatility and potential for pop and RBI's at the bottom of the order. Johnson has played 810 games at second base, 133 games in left field, 43 games at third base, and 27 games at first base in his career making him a good guy to have around. Prado on the other hand has played 374 games at third base, 252 games in left field and one game in right field, 245 games at second base, 56 games at first base, and 16 games as a shortstop. Losing the versatility of Johnson is not only replaced but improved upon if you add Mr. Prado.
Johnson was brought in to hit home runs and drive runners in. In 2014 Johnson is hitting .222 with four home runs and 16 RBI's and has not exactly instilled fear in opposing pitchers. While Prado has not been great he has been better lately and has a .274 average with three home runs and 34 RBI's on a much worse Arizona Diamondbacks team. Prado also only has 44 strikeouts in 318 plate appearances where Johnson has 40 K's in 160 plate appearances, or once every four at bats.
Johnson's left handed swing may have been made for Yankee Stadium but Prado's right handed swing balances out the lineup and makes the team better. Get it done Cash and DFA Johnson now.