O’s lose out on another 1B candidate? Nick Johnson signing “close” in New York

December 17, 2009 | Drew Forrester

At this pace, the O’s might have to give Boog Powell a minor league contract with a spring training invite.

Another available first baseman is on the verge of no longer being available with Nick Johnson reportedly on the verge of signing a deal with the Yankees.

Johnson won’t be playing much first base for New York.  They have that Teixeira guy in the Bronx and there are rumors floating around that he’s pretty decent at his position.

But Nick The Stick will do a lot of DH’ing now that Hideki Matsui has signed in Los Angeles.  And his sky-high OBP will fit like a glove in NY where he bats in and around guys like Jeter, A-Rod, Tex and now, Curtis Granderson.

As for the O’s, they must be completely exhausted from their whirlwind of Wednesday activity where they signed Mike Gonzalez and Garrett Atkins.

But they still need a first baseman.

And with Johnson gone, that leaves Adam LaRoche as the one legitimate available free agent the O’s could still try and woo to Baltimore.  Mark DeRosa has played *some* first base in his career (23 games), but not enough for the O’s to hand him the job and say, “Here you go bro, pull off a 145-game stint at first for us.”

Trades are still a possibility, but Andy MacPhail has already said he’s not really interested in giving up any of the team’s young talent for a veteran first baseman.

Come spring training, they need to have someone at first that knows what he’s doing.

They should probably at least tell Boog to start doing some stretching just in case.