Yankees need to lock up David Robertson


David Robertson isn’t Mariano Rivera by any means necessary…but he has done a phenomenal job as the Yankees closer. He’s been a fixture in the Yankees bullpen even before Mariano, and he took on responsibility as the newest closer in the post-Mariano Rivera era. Let’s face it, if David Robertson goes onto the open market, he’s going to receive many lucrative offers, and the only way the Yankees can prevent Robertson from walking is if they give him an extension.

The Yankees already broke their ‘no extensions before free agency’ rule when they gave a four-year, $52 Million deal to Brett Gardner and it made sense for the Yankees to hold off giving Robertson a deal with Robertson never pitching in the closer role. Robertson hasn’t made the job look easy, but he manages to get the job done.

“I know what I’m capable of doing,” Robertson said as he expressed confidence in his pitching abilities. 

The Yankees not having Mariano Rivera as the closer is uncharted territory, and for the first time in 19 seasons, there’s uncertainty. If Robertson walks, there will be an even bigger hole, even if the Yankees slot Dellin Betances into the closer role.

“I always said I wasn’t worried as much about the ninth inning as I am about getting to the ninth inning,” pitching coach Larry Rothschild said.

So what will the Yankees and David Robertson do? Will they let Robertson walk? Will they work out a deal with him before the season begins? Will David Robertson give the Yankees a “homegrown discount”? Probably not, but the Yankees should consider this before they plan to let Robertson walk:

Robertson is one of the success stories of the Yankees farm system along with his close friend and teammate Brett Gardner. Robertson has seen first hand the Yankees drafting and developing Gardner, ultimately rewarding him to a contract that could take him to the year 2019. Robertson should be the next player to get the ‘Gardner treatment’, and although he doesn’t lock down saves in the same Mariano Rivera dominant fashion…there’s no doubt that he makes games more interesting.


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10 Responses to Yankees need to lock up David Robertson

  1. Celerino says:

    I like David Robertson. I also liked John Wetteland. But when Wetteland's setup man turned out to be better than him, he was gone. Betances will probably close next year. Kelly and Warren will handle the 7th and 8th and Cashman will fill in the back of the pen like he always has. Bye Dave, its been nice knowing you.

  2. I'm a huge David Robertson fan, but at the same time it scares me to pay relievers top dollar. They don't play a big enough role, are generally more inconsistent and are prone to injury because of the way they are used. I wish the Yankees tried harder to lock him up before he was a free agent to try to save some money. I don't know if I'd be comfortable with them giving D-Rob more than, say, 3-years and $24 million. Just look back at all of the big reliever signings the Yankees have made in the last 20 years. Did any of them, aside from Rivera, ever work out? I can't think of anyone.

    • mosc says:

      Not like Soriano pitched poorly in NY. ERA under 3 and 44 saves over 107 innings in those two years. Whither that was worth $21 million and a first round draft pick is another question but I'm sure the yankees got exactly what they thought they would out of Soriano. Mikie Mahtook, the guy Tampa signed, is 24 years old now hitting in Tampa's AAA system to the tune of a .827 OPS, by far his best year but a guy that looks like a 4th outfielder at best.

      I'd have to say that's the exception to the rule though, as you pointed out. But it's also the only non-Mo guy I can think of to break a $20mil relief contract for the Yankees pen like Robertson would undoubtedly get. I mean the list of Relief pitchers to exceed Robertson's current $5.22mil yearly salary in yankees history:

      2: Rivera and Soriano

      So it's hard to say the yankees have really been burned by "expensive" relievers. Thorton's worked out OK at $3.5m. Marte and Feliciano didn't make THAT much. Robertson will sign for more than those guy's combined career earnings in a few months most likely, yankees or not.

      Who else are you thinking of?

      • Forgot Soriano. That worked out as well as it could have. Tom Gordon also wasn't terrible (depending on how well you remember his Octobers).

        I was thinking more along the lines of guys like Steve Karsay, Chris Hammond, Kyle Farnsworth, Damaso Marte, Pedro Feliciano (and yes, for relievers, especially non-closers, Marte and Feliciano both made a boatload of money). Quantrill also made a decent amount of money and was a total bust. Luis Vizcaino was also a bit of a disaster that the Yankees avoided by voiding his contract.

        The Yankees didn't really start having consistent success with their bullpen, as they have had for the last 5 years, until they started developing young relievers and constantly pulling tons of pitchers off waivers. This is my entire point. It's better to just develop and throw a ton of options at the wall until something sticks than to pay top dollar for relievers (and all of the relievers I mentioned were among the highest paid middle relievers in baseball during their Pinstriped tenures).

  3. Robert Rufa says:

    With so few such home-grown success stories. NY would be smart to lock in Robertson now, and while they're at it to make sure Betances is secure too.

  4. tom says:

    Brett Gardner got contract in February. I don't know if training camp is part of the mid season.

    If Yankees decide to let Robertson walk in favor of Betances then Yankees would let him walk two years when his first arbitrary begins. As a closer, he surely will commit at least 10m. Oh, don't worry about it, Yankees always find a good reliever, uh?

    Qualifying offer cost about 14.5m so Yankees could try to secure him for 9m AAV thru 3 years. After that, Betances could replace him for less than 9m in 2018.

    I can see Angels, Mets, and Giants as a possible destination for Robertson if not Yankees so Yankees could get 1st round pick. 2 first round picks to play with. umm.

    I am in a mixed bag for Robertson. I still think Kerley will be our new closer if Robertson departs. Yankees can't give Betances a closing job after one monstrous year as many relievers in MLB have struggled in the following season. More seasonings to be ensured for Betances.

    • hotdog says:

      Yankees have a habit of not spending on relievers…with a need for starting pitching and a position player or two, I would not be surprised if the Yankees get outbid for Robertson…

  5. Ron Tamoschat says:

    Who is Kerley ? never heard of him. Where is he playing now ? Ron T.

  6. Mike Sommer says:

    On an aside, Jacob Lindgren is absolutely dominating right now in A ball. If he keeps this up, he could be in the Bronx in 2016…. or maybe even at the end of 2015.

    • Mike Sommer says:

      Maybe even sooner? No sooner did I write this did I find out that Lindgren was promoted to AA today.

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