Should The New York Yankees Extend David Robertson?


Feb 17, 2014; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher

David Robertson

(30) throws as the Yankees work out at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit:

David Manning


With the New York Yankees breaking their extension policy with Brett Gardner, Jacob Winters looked at some other possible extension candidates. I’m going to look at more of a tricky case for extension, closer David Roberston.

Why is he tricky? Well, we know that he’s been an elite setup man over the past few seasons, but we don’t exactly know how good a closer he would be. If he’s elite there too, well, he could get paid pretty darn well. If he falters? Well, the Yankees are sunk with backup plan Andrew Bailey sidelined at least until August.

Well, let’s compare D-Rob to another setup reliever who got paid this off-season over the past two seasons.

Player A: 3.32 ERA 1.19 WHIP 46 holds, 107 strikeouts in 130 innings

Player B: 2.34 ERA 1.02 WHIP 63 holds, 158 strikeouts in 137 innings.

Player B is Robertson. Player A? Joe Smith, who signed a 3-year deal worth $15.75 million as a setup man with the Angels. I think Robertson would command a bigger deal, especially for someone who’s a couple of years younger.

Well, if Robertson is the closer, what if he puts up numbers like this?

1.93 ERA, 42 saves, 1.04 WHIP, around 80 strikeouts in around 72 innings? Those are Fernando Rodney‘s averages over the past two seasons, who got a 2-year $14 million deal.

So what if the Yankees offered 3-years at $18 million? Would Robertson take it? I’m not too sure. That would put him above Smith, but below Rodney who has a track record as a closer. It would give Robertson security, but it wouldn’t pay him as much as say Craig Kimbrel or Jonathan Papelbon.

Even if Robertson isn’t great as a closer, he’s still great as a set-up man and should be rewarded for that.