Nick Johnson needs surgery, likely out until July

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Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that Nick Johnson will undergo wrist surgery tomorrow and is expected to be sidelined until at least July.
Johnson has been in and out of the lineup for a couple weeks now and apparently a recent cortisone shot wasn’t effective. Signed to a one-year, $5.5 million contract this offseason to replace Johnny Damon in the Yankees’ lineup Johnson has a .388 on-base percentage, but is hitting just .167 with eight RBIs and 12 runs in 24 games. Damon, meanwhile, is hitting .288/.403/.424 in 38 games for the Tigers.
Rather than turn to a full-time replacement for Johnson the Yankees have been cycling various regulars through the DH spot, giving guys like Derek Jeter, Mark Teixeira, Robinson Cano, and Jorge Posada days off defensively. However, now that Johnson is likely out for a couple months (and perhaps much longer, given his history with injuries) it wouldn’t be surprising to see New York start shopping around for a veteran bat. This looks likely to be the fifth time in nine seasons that Johnson will fail to play 100 games.

Report: Yankees close to signing Gio González to minor league deal

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Jon Heyman reports that the Yankees are close to signing starter Gio González. Per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the deal is of the minor league variety that will pay González $3 million if he makes the major league roster.

González, 33, made 27 starts for the Nationals before being sent to the Brewers ahead of the now-defunct August 31 waiver trade deadline. In aggregate, González went 10-11 with a 4.21 ERA and a 148/80 K/BB ratio in 171 innings. He was solid in his five starts with the Brewers, going 3-0 with a 2.13 ERA.

Neither Luis Severino nor CC Sabathia will be ready for the start of the season, so González will add some immediate depth at the back of the Yankees’ rotation. Sabathia will likely return before Severino. When that happens, González may be pushed out of the rotation.