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The Yankees agreed to a $2 million, one-year contract with second baseman Brian Roberts (above) on Tuesday.
AP photo
The Yankees agreed to a $2 million, one-year contract with second baseman Brian Roberts (above) on Tuesday. AP photo

Roberts, Thornton agree with N.Y. Yankees

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NEW YORK (AP) — Making a pair of thrifty deals to fill holes on their roster, the New York Yankees agreed to a $2 million, one-year contract with second baseman Brian Roberts and a $7 million, two-year deal with left-hander Matt Thornton.

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Roberts is among the options at second base to replace Robinson Cano, who left the Yankees for a $240 million, 10-year contract with Seattle. Kelly Johnson, signed to a $3 million deal, is another possibility.

An All-Star in 2005 and 2007, the 36-year-old Roberts had spent his entire 13-year major league career with Baltimore. He has not played a full season since 2009 because of injuries.

The 37-year-old Thornton replaces Boone Logan, who left for a $16.5 million, three-year contract with Colorado. A 10-year big league veteran, Thornton was 0-4 with a 3.74 ERA in 60 relief appearances this year for the Chicago White Sox and Boston, which acquired him in July for minor league outfielder Brandon Jacobs.

When the agreements are completed, along with a pending three-year deal with outfielder Carlos Beltran, the Yankees’ projected luxury tax payroll for 2014 will rise to $177.7 million for 15 players. That’s about the maximum if the team wants to remain under the $189 million threshold, which includes $11 million to $12 million for benefits.

New York would gain flexibility if Alex Rodriguez is suspended for most of the season, relieving the team of a large percentage of his $25 million salary.

Astros, Albers complete $2.45M, 1-year deal

HOUSTON — The Astros have finalized a $2.45 million, one-year contract with right-handed reliever Matt Albers.

The 30-year-old Albers gets $2.25 million next season under Tuesday’s agreement, and Houston has a $3 million option for 2015 with a $200,000 buyout.

He 6-2 in 119 appearances over the last two seasons with a 2.77 ERA, including 3-1 with a 3.14 ERA in 56 appearances for Cleveland this year.

AP source: Orioles,     Balfour agree to 2-year deal

BALTIMORE — Two weeks after trading their closer to Oakland, the Baltimore Orioles agreed to a two-year, $15 million contract with former Athletics closer Grant Balfour on Tuesday, according to a person familiar with the deal.

Balfour fills the vacancy left by the trade of closer Jim Johnson, who was dealt to Oakland because Baltimore didn’t want to pay him about $10 million a season. Johnson had 50 saves in each of the past two seasons but was in line for a huge raise.

“It’s really about the allocation of resources and to have a competitive team,” Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette said at the time. “You have to have proper balance.”

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