Following a blockbuster trade that sent Chris Sale to Boston, could the White Sox be willing to part with their closer?
On Tuesday afternoon, the Chicago White Sox shocked the world by trading their ace Chris Sale to the Boston Red Sox for a haul of prospects. This could mean that the team is finally beginning their long-awaited rebuild and the New York Yankees could capitalize by acquiring their closer.
Most fans may remember David Robertson as the setup man for Mariano Rivera for a while until he became the closer of the bombers in 2014. Following the 2014 season, the Yankees let Robertson leave in free agency while signing Andrew Miller to take his role.
This doesn’t mean Robertson wasn’t a fan favorite.
In seven seasons wearing Yankee pinstripes, Robertson sported a 2.81 ERA in 402 games with a 12 K/9. While coming out of the New York bullpen, the right-hander was one of the elite relief pitchers in all of baseball, but once he signed his contract with Chicago his stats did not fare too well.
In two full seasons so far with Chicago, the 31-year old has had a 3.44 ERA in 122 games with an 11.5 K/9. The stats aren’t remarkable, but rejoining the team he spent the majority of his career in could not do any harm.
It’s obvious that the Yankees are in the market for a relief pitcher, a closer in particular. The team has already made offers to free agents Kenley Jansen and Aroldis Chapman, but that does not mean that they are offers that will fill the demands of those two superstars.
Reports have already come out that Chapman is demanding a six-year deal which would leave him under contract until he is in his mid-30s. This would certainly be a risky deal, especially considering the left-hander relies mostly on velocity which has been known to decrease heavily in pitchers as they begin to age.
Jansen is also an appealing choice, but he will cost the club their 17th overall pick in the upcoming draft which is something the Yankees highly covet considering the position in which the team is heading in.
If the bombers do decide to capitalize on the rebuilding White Sox, they could undoubtedly acquire Robertson while not destroying their farm system at the same time. The deal would not cost them a top five prospect and they would be taking on his four-year, $46 million contract which only has two years left.
The money in which the Yankees would be paying Robertson would be a steal compared to how much the closers in today’s market will be making in 2017.
It is a deal that the Yankees should heavily consider making, especially if Kenley Jansen and Aroldis Chapman do not lower their asking prices.
Therefore, Brian Cashman should pull the trigger on getting his back-end bullpen arm by trading with Chicago to reunite with longtime Yankee David Robertson.