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Yankees Potential Free Agent Target: David Robertson

They say “third time’s a charm,” but would it be the case this time? Yes, it would be.

Cleveland Indians v New York Yankees Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

It’s that time of year again. The cold crisp air, the same songs playing in every store, that warm, familiar feeling no matter where you go. We’re thinking the same thing: David Robertson’s a free agent again, and there’s no reason he shouldn’t come home to the Bronx. Since his second free agency departure, Robertson came close to coming home in 2023 by signing a deal with the Mets. Although, they shipped him off to Miami, Robertson most certainly did not take his talents to South Beach. If he left them in New York, he could pick them up on his way back to the Bronx.

2023 Stats (Combined NYM/MIA): 62 G, 65.1 IP, 3.03 ERA (143 ERA+), 3.49 FIP, 29.0% K%, 9.3% BB%, 1.2 fWAR

2024 FanGraphs Depth Charts Projections: 62 IP, 4.00 ERA, 4.11 FIP, 9.9 K/9, 3.9 BB/9, 0.5 fWAR

Contract Status: Played 2023 on a one-year, $10-million contract signed with the Mets in December 2022

Joining the Mets ahead of the 2023 season, Robertson was projected to form a formidable set-up tandem with Adam Ottavino and help eventually get the ball to All-Star Edwin Díaz. However, Díaz ended up missing the whole season after suffering a patellar tendon injury celebrating a win during the World Baseball Classic. That injury propelled D-Rob back to a familiar role as the team’s primary closer. The extra responsibility proved no match for him, as he excelled in classic Houdini fashion. A 207 ERA+ and 3.69 K/BB ratio, made him one of the few things that worked for the 2023 Mets.

Unfortunately, all that spending Steve Cohen and company did was for nothing, as they ended up trading Robertson to the division rival Marlins as part of a teardown that also saw star co-aces, Justin Verlander (Astros) and Max Scherzer (Rangers) find new homes, or a familiar home in Verlander’s case.

After a perfect debut for Miami against the Tigers, Robertson followed that up with a couple of clunkers with five runs over two games against the Phillies. After those missteps, he seemed to settle down a bit, but still had a handful of bad games from the normally reliable relief ace. Robertson pitched in the second and final game of Miami’s postseason “run,” giving up two runs in two innings of work, to really end his season and Marlins tenure on a sour note.

Still though, for whatever didn’t work at the end of 2023, his first half with the Mets and his 2022 campaign, split between the Cubs and Phillies, show that he still is capable of being a reliable reliever. Enter: the Yankees.

Even before the Juan Soto trade, the team’s bullpen was looking a little shaky with Michael King vying for a rotation spot and Wandy Peralta joining Robertson in the free agent class. Factor in Jonathan Loáisiga’s injury-riddled season and Tommy Kahnle looking vulnerable at times, another dependent high-leverage reliever would certainly be welcome by Matt Blake. If there’s one coach on Aaron Boone’s staff (himself included) that can be trusted, it’s Blake. He’s certainly more than capable of figuring out what went wrong for D-Rob in Miami and helping him return to form.

Sure, the team’s payroll is already going to be high this season, and the Yankees have been burned in the past by poor resource allocation and too much money wasted in the bullpen (looking at you, Aroldis Chapman). They’re also one of the teams who can churn out a dependable reliever either through their internal options or a “diamond in the rough” classic Brian Cashman trade, which they may have gotten from the Dodgers in Victor González. But there’s one important factor that argues against all of those logical reasons: I do not care.

I love David Robertson and science has proven that he is one of the best Yankees to ever put on the pinstripes. There is no argument that will change that. So once again, I am advocating for the Yankees to sign David Robertson, and I seriously believe they should offer him a 30-year deal. Take that, Shohei Ohtani.

My sweet King is gone and reigning upon a new kingdom in San Diego, please let my sweet prince come home.