Rumors have been swirling about David Robertson potentially returning to the New York Yankees, but it would only be for trade bait.
When the time finally came to make a decision after seven years, the Yankees let Robertson walk.
Now, two years later, his name is resurfacing as a potential candidate for the 2017 Yankees squad. In conjunction with Jose Quintana, the Yankees are looking for ways to plug the holes that became glaringly obvious during last season’s run.
With Robertson, however, it is different. Pursuing Robertson would make sense for a team that needed a strong closer…not the Yankees, who have the back end of their bullpen locked up.
So why would the Yankees even consider a move for Robertson if they wouldn’t have a place for him? Last time he was in pinstripes, Robertson served as their Mariano Rivera replacement. Now, the Yankees rely on the capable arms of Aroldis Chapman and Dellin Betances. Tyler Clippard and Adam Warren have proven their late-game worth as well. So where does Robertson fit in?
The truth is, he does… Just not in the way people think. Robertson will come at a cost to the Yankees.
Obviously, pursuing Robertson would mean the Yankees would most likely have to give up some prospects but a guy, who has flourished with the Yankees before, will also likely be an attractive trade chip come the end of July.
Take some time to ponder this: Robertson will be an option for teams that are looking for bullpen support come time for their playoff runs. As a player who has been in the league for nine seasons and improved every year, the righty will be a hot commodity.
Even if the Yankees have to give up one or two prospects in the initial deal, they might get a bigger return on Robertson when he performs well in the Bronx.
People are livid over the fact that the Yankees might trade away some of their farm system, but in all seriousness, how many of these guys will find a spot on the Yankees? And how many of them will even live up to the hype?
They can afford to give a little now and take some guys from younger classes to keep developing their farm system.
Robertson will also be a great addition to middle relief and maybe his presence will help Luis Severino find his way back to the starting rotation. With a crowded bullpen, Severino can be tested more as a starter and perhaps find his way back to glory.
Robertson might not fit directly into the plan the Yankees have for the coming years, but this could be a way to make the farm system stronger for a longer period of time. With several prospects very close to being major-league ready, what will the Yankees do when the system is left barren? They’ll have to start over. With Robertson’s trade value, they might not have to.
Robertson could be the piece of the puzzle that gives the Yankees more flexibility in making moves to improve their farm system not just for right now, but for the future.
Nobody WANTS to get rid of highly touted prospects, but sometimes it isn’t that simple. A trade for Robertson would be a move that benefits the Yankees both now and in the future. And isn’t that what we, as fans, want for the New York Yankees?