In past years, many believed having all-star players in your lineup would predetermine a World Series Championship. But if there’s anything we learned from the 2014 World Series between the San Francisco Giants and the Kansas City Royals, the key to winning is having a lethal bullpen. The starter could give you six-seven innings, the team could score runs, but if the bullpen isn’t rested or there aren’t enough arms, the game could ultimately be lost.
That’s why aside from finding a Derek Jeter replacement, Brian Cashman is looking into bolstering the bullpen and all of that starts with David Robertson. The Yankees are trying everything they can to keep Robertson from straying and are even attempting to work out a multi-year deal with his agent. However, the Yankees signing Robertson could cause them to lose their focus on Chase Headley and Brandon McCarthy.
The Yankees like Headley as a potential third basemen, but if he wants more than three-years, they might let him walk due to past back issues. The Yankees appreciated and liked what they saw from McCarthy, but they also view him as replaceable and they’re taking into account his career numbers, where he’s been an under .500 pitcher.
The bullpen has always been the Yankees strength and they were hardly at fault for the last two seasons going south and ending without a postseason appearance. If the Yankees are able to retain David Robertson, if Dellin Betances is able to continue his resurgence as the set-up man, if the Yankees are able to count on Justin Wilson, if the Yankees are able to get consistency from Adam Warren and if Shawn Kelley would leave his horse mask at home, the Yankees bullpen could once again be a strength. But if Robertson leaves, everyone moves up an inning and the bullpen doesn’t have as much depth. Their strength could turn into their Achilles heel, and the player that could alter that equation is Robertson.
Will the Yankees give Robertson the ‘Jonathan Papelbon money’ he’s searching for or will they let him walk if they feel the asking price is too much? Who knows, but the Yankees might want to consider this: Robertson will create a huge ripple effect whether he’s on the team or not.