1:10pm: Heyman tweets that the White Sox have pulled Robertson back off waivers.
11:50am: Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports hears from a source that part of the Yankees’ motivation in making the claim was indeed to prevent the Blue Jays from having an opportunity to acquire Robertson (Twitter link).
8:32am: The Yankees have claimed closer David Robertson from the White Sox on revocable waivers, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, but a trade between the two sides is seen as unlikely. To this point, according to Heyman, there’s little indication of a deal in the works, and as of late Saturday night there hadn’t even been legitimate discussions between Chicago and New York. It seems probable that the White Sox will elect to pull their closer back off waivers.
Robertson, 30, has spent his entire career with the Yankees aside from this season. He departed as a free agent following the 2014 campaign, electing to sign a sizable four-year, $46MM contract with the Sox. (The Yankees, meanwhile, made their own significant commitment to lefty Andrew Miller: four years, $36MM.)
It’s still far too early to judge that hefty investment from the White Sox, but the early returns have been outstanding. Robertson has a 2.60 ERA with 12.2 K/9, 1.9 BB/9 (a career-best rate) a 38.3 percent ground-ball rate and 27 saves in 52 innings with the Sox. That ERA would likely be even better were it not for the fact that White Sox rate as one of the worst defensive clubs in all of baseball. SIERA, FIP and xFIP, for instance, all peg Robertson between 1.89 and 2.17 — significantly better than his still-impressive 2.60 ERA.
Robertson is earning $10MM in 2015 and has about $1.97MM remaining on his current salary, plus an additional $36MM through the 2018 season. The Yankees will have until 2:00 ET to work out a trade, per Heyman, indicating that the actual claim of Robertson was made on Saturday afternoon. It’s possible, though, that the Yankees made the claim not so much expecting a deal but more to prevent the division-leading Blue Jays from having an opportunity to add to their bullpen.
Even if that were the case, it wouldn’t mean the Yankees aren’t interested in a reunion. They pursued bullpen help in late July, and Robertson would mark at least the third elite reliever that the Yankees have attempted to acquire to pair with their already dominant late-inning duo of Miller and Dellin Betances. GM Brian Cashman reportedly showed strong interest in both Craig Kimbrel and Aroldis Chapman prior to the non-waiver trade deadline last month.
Though his specific trade probably won’t come to fruition, it’s likely that we’ll see a few swaps made prior to midnight. Players acquired on Sept. 1 or later are ineligible for their new team’s postseason roster, meaning that any last-minute trades that contenders wish to make in order to upgrade their potential playoff rosters will need to be completed in the next 14.5 hours.
Wonder if it was just to block him from Toronto?
Very possible. Imagine the Yankees dont want to give up much. More likely it was block trade or take on Robertsons full salary. Both are wins in their book.
More than likely a block. On the other hand, given that most of their starters only get through the opponents’ lineups twice – and that Miller and Betances can’t go every day – if it’s a salary-dump by Chicago, I think that Hal will approve it.
“If it’s a salary-dump by Chicago, I think that Hal will approve it.”
If it’s a salary-dump by Chicago, Hal would have already had to approve it just by the Yankees putting in a claim for Robertson on Saturday. It would be a moot point anyway if the White Sox don’t revoke the waivers by the reported 2:00 ET deadline, in which case he would become a Yankee without a trade being consummated.
I would think that has to be the case. They weren’t willing to give him 4/$46MM a short time ago, now they’re willing to give him 3/$36MM (plus whatever he’s owed the rest of this season) in addition to some decent prospects to acquire him? Doesn’t add up to me, but maybe I’m looking at it too starkly.
Placing a claim means you are willing to take that player on his current contract. If the Sox want to dump him, the Yankees will take him. If they’re looking for a big return, then the Sox will pull him back like the majority of waiver claims.
The Yankees also got a draft pick by letting him go last off-season.
Or anyone else higher up in the pecking order
I really don’t think it’s a block because he’s owed the kind of money Toronto isn’t comfortable with.
It likely won’t happen, but the idea of Robertson on the Yankees once again would make that bullpen so dominate it’d be ridiculous. Think about it. Tanaka for six innings then Betances, Miller, and Robertson. Wild Card game would be a near lock-in.
Depends on the opponent and who’s pitching and if the Yankees bats are hot or cold. Scored 38 runs in a 10 game homestand. And then they just scored 38 runs this weekend in Atlanta.
Lots of variables for sure, but you got to like your chances if these are your pitchers.
Tanaka + that bullpen…solid. The issue the Yankees have isn’t with Tanaka (assuming his elbow holds up), it is with the back-end of their staff and their already over-worked bullpen (3rd in AL / 6th in MLB in total innings pitched by the BP).
He’d be a great pickup for the Yanks, but I don’t see CHISOX dumping him after a stellar first season…on an albeit pricey contract.
Tanaka is not consistent enough to be counted as lock to dominate. He usually gives up about 3 runs and he’s very homer prone.
I agree, I was actually giving the Yankees the benefit of the doubt when it comes to him. I don’t trust his elbow and his stuff is a notch down since injury.
If the white sox could extract some value from the Yankees they should move Robertson. They should even consider just giving him up on the straight claim. A terrible sox team should not be allocating that much of their limited payroll to the closer spot. The white sox won’t be competing for titles over the next few years, their lineup is woeful (Anderson, Johnson, Hawkins won’t move the needle enough to compete either).
I agree with you, but I feel that the White Sox could get some prospects by dealing him to say the Red Sox who could badly use more bullpen help and have the money to do so. Detroit Tigers, though a divison rival, are another team that could use Robertson now that Soria is gone and soon their payments to Joe Nathan.
A lot of money for a closer when the Sox are going nowhere for a year or two.
A chance for Sox to get out of a potentially bad contract. Robertson is not getting any younger . Look at the Jays who find a 20 year old closer and pay him 1/20 of what the Sox pay Robertson.
I don’t think Hahn views it like that though, when the White Sox didn’t trade Samardzija, I think it is a clue that the White Sox will be big buyers this off season as well. They have something in the range of 90 million in the books for next year, I think they still can be quite aggressive. The two best players are on very team friendly deals as well.
Boring, would of preferred an exciting trade.
Probably should stay away from any online boards then. Nothing “exciting” will be happening and hasn’t happened since the trade deadline……herp derp herp derp….
I’ll stay away only because you might respond.
Interesting gamesmanship, although it seems highly unlikely the Jays would’ve claimed him. Their bullpen has already been revamped and has been one of the best in baseball in the second half. Even though it could free them up after this year to move Sanchez and Osuna to the rotation, it seems like a stretch that they would take on that contract.