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.