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New York Yankees Can’t Risk Losing David Robertson for a Draft Pick

August 3rd, 2014 at 4:58 PM
By Michael Moraitis

The New York Yankees will have a big decision to make once the 2014 season is over: should they give David Robertson a long-term contract?

Based on his numbers this season, the answer to that question is a resounding yes. Robertson has been dominant this season, as has been the case for most of his career in pinstripes.

The Alabama product has converted 28 of his 30 save opportunities and sports a 2.81 ERA. Aside from one bad stretch of a few games, Robertson has been almost automatic. Factor in that he's replacing the greatest closer of all-time, Mariano Rivera, and it makes Robertson's season even more noteworthy.

This isn't just a flash-in-the-pan season for Robertson, either. He has routinely been one of the elite relievers in baseball since 2011 and now he finds himself in that class as a closer.

What makes re-signing Robertson such a tough decision is the fact that the Yanks have a closer-in-waiting with Dellin Betances, who has taken the league by storm with his incredible ability to strike batters out while pitching to a 1.52 ERA. Not to mention, keeping Betances over Robertson saves the Yanks money.

What Betances doesn't have that Robertson does is a track record. You can pretty much bank on the fact that Robertson will be good from here on out, but the same can't be said for Betances, who has had to battle demons throughout his young career in the minors before becoming such a success at the big league level.

ESPN's Buster Olney seems to think the Yankees have a simple decision to make, which would be to offer Robertson a qualifying offer that could make him the highest-paid closer in baseball for just one season. If he declines the offer, Robertson will likely go elsewhere and the Yankees would get a draft pick in return.

It isn't that simple, though. The Yankees have a proven commodity in Robertson that gives them an excellent bullpen when combined with Betances and Adam Warren, and that elite back-end of the bullpen has the chance to be a staple for years to come.

Losing Robertson not only erases that stellar 'pen, but it gives the Yanks a draft pick that is nowhere near a certainty to ever contribute to the big-league club. Simply saying, "well, we lost a great closer, but we did get a draft pick" isn't good enough.

New York may have other plans than to just offer Robertson the one-year pact. It is quite possible that the Yanks are doing what they normally do and not extending a player before his contract runs out; although they did break that rule with Brett Gardner when they inked him to a four-year deal during spring training.

The same should be done with Robertson before this season ends if the Yankees are smart. Locking him up now will give New York a great bullpen for many years and it takes away the chance that D-Rob bolts for another place in favor of a long-term contract because he's insulted the Yanks didn't offer him one.

After all, he deserves better.

If the Yankees wait too long they will risk losing their stud closer forever. If general manager Brian Cashman and the Yankees' brass are smart, they get this deal done as soon as possible and keep Robertson in pinstripes for the long haul.

Seeing your team play in the SuperBowl is priceless. Watching the SuperBowl live in the stands for $1 per week is beyond priceless. Find out how at TicketScore.com, the future of Championship Tickets. Tags: Adam Warren, Baseball, David Robertson, Dellin Betances, MLB, New York, New York Yankees

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