The Yankees have reportedly lost free agent closer David Robertson to the Chicago White Sox on a four-year deal in excess of $40 million, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today. The Yankees were rumored to still be interested in a Robertson reunion earlier today, willing to give the closer four years if the price was right. Bringing back Robertson would have given the Yankees one of the best bullpens in the majors, but now that dream is dead.
With Robertson signing elsewhere after turning down the Yankees' qualifying offer, New York will receive a compensation pick in June's amateur draft. The White Sox have a protected pick, so they surrender only their second round pick for signing Robertson. The deal ended up not being the Jonathan Papelbon-like deal that Robertson was said to be looking for, so you have to wonder where the Yankees drew the line. The White Sox are on the verge of swinging a deal for Jeff Samardzija, so bringing in Robertson clearly indicates that the team is going for it in the AL Central this season.
It's unclear at this point whether Dellin Betances or Andrew Miller, or a combination of the two, will be used as the Yankees' closer in 2015. Hopefully Joe Girardi chooses to deploy them intelligently instead of relying on strict innings-based closer/setup man roles.
For the second season in a row Yankees fans have to say goodbye to a beloved homegrown player. The writing was pretty much on the wall after the signing of Andrew Miller on Friday, but the Yankees' reported willingness to go four years renewed a bit of hope. The only Yankees left from the 2009 championship team are now CC Sabathia, Mark Teixeira, Brett Gardner, and Alex Rodriguez.
Good luck in Chicago, D-Rob. We will certainly miss you. Robertson didn't get nearly enough credit for pretty flawlessly stepping into the shoes of the greatest closer of all time in Mariano Rivera, but he was definitely among the game's best relievers for the last few years running. Losing him undoubtedly hurts.
Robertson gets $46M for 4 yrs. Bob nightengale 1st with chisox— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) December 9, 2014
Yankees never made an official offer to David Robertson. So he wasn't picking between White Sox and Yankees.— Jack Curry (@JackCurryYES) December 9, 2014
#Yankees say never were going near $46M in bid for Robertson. Feels like valued Miller as much or more than Robertson— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) December 9, 2014