The Yankees claim they are out of money, and yet their quest to add more pitching continues in the shadows. The acquisition of Jose Quintana from the White Sox has been an ongoing discussion over the last several weeks. While we figured any potential deal was dead considering the Yankees were unwilling to trade top prospects Clint Frazier and Gleyber Torres, it seems that names are still being thrown around. Now David Robertson is being included in trade talks.
According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, the Yankees have expanded their talks with the White Sox to include David Robertson in any deal for Jose Quintana. The idea would be that it could help diminish New York’s prospect package if they take on most of Robertson’s contract. I would say that four years of Quintana is worth one of Frazier or Torres, but the Yankees, in their time of rebuilding, are looking to keep their best prospects.
When it comes to money, Quintana is incredibly inexpensive at $15 million over the next two seasons. He also has two team options that would pay him $22 million between the 2019 and 2020 seasons. For a team with the financial might of the Yankees—if they even see themselves that way anymore—this would be nothing for their payroll. Quintana would quickly jump to the top of the rotation alongside Masahiro Tanaka to offer a strong 1-2 punch. He would also provide the Yankees with leverage if they consider re-signing Tanaka when he opts out of his contract at the end of the season.
Robertson, on the other hand, is due to make $25 million over the next two seasons, meaning he’s more expensive than Quintana, so it makes sense that they would want some help there. As great as it would be to add Robertson into the bullpen mix, it seems a bit like overkill at this point, considering they already have Aroldis Chapman, Dellin Betances, and Tyler Clippard. This trade may have made more sense before the Chapman deal because it would have given the team more money to spend elsewhere. Regardless, it would still make for a better bullpen, or even give the Yankees more pieces to trade for starting pitching.
Keep in mind that Chicago just nixed a trade with the Nationals that would have sent Robertson to Washington in the Adam Eaton deal. It remains to be seen how serious this offer really is, and if the White Sox would consider packaging two of their assets together. For a team in need of a rebuild, they should be happy to trade off Robertson and most of his money, but there is really no rush to move Quintana unless they get someone worth the price.