clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Yankees rumors: David Robertson looking for 'Papelbon Money'

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

On Monday, free agent closer David Robertson declined the Yankees qualifying offer of $15.3 million in order to test the open market. The Yankees are now revving up discussions with him and his agent, but it has been long thought that the team will not retain him at all costs. It is now coming out that D-Rob's camp is looking for 'Papelbon Money,' a total that will quickly take the Yankees out of the running if the rumor is true.

The Philadelphia Phillies signed free agent closer Jonathan Papelbon to a four-year, $50 million contract in 2012. His deal also offers up a $13 million fifth year based on the amount of games he finishes, and the contract has been nothing but a complete disaster for the team. He's pitched fine enough, and Robertson is actually a year younger from when Papelbon signed his deal, but spending $13 million on a reliever is not the smartest baseball decision a general manager can make. It has hampered the Phillies' payroll plans and has made him utterly unmovable now that the team has tanked. Brian Cashman is not about the subject himself to a deal like that.

If you felt the idea of giving Rafael Soriano $11 million a year was too much, Robertson would eclipse that amount as he goes down as the highest paid reliever in the history of the game. As much as I like Robertson and think it's foolish for the Yankees to let him leave in free agency, they would be making a huge mistake if they decided to give him such a deal. In fact, a deal like that should be avoided at all costs, even if it means a weaker bullpen with only Dellin Betances to be relied upon in the back of the bullpen.

The Yankees had an opportunity to discuss an extension with Robertson in spring training, but instead opted to see how well he did as the new closer. The 30-year-old reliever went on record saying that he would have signed an extension then, but now would like to test the market and see what else is out there. Sure, most of this contract talk could just be noise, but if the Yankees end up losing him it will be hard not to blame their reluctance to talk extensions despite their prevalence in the game today. More news will surely come out before anything starts to get serious, but just keep in mind that if this is the type of deal he wants–and he's more than qualified to demand it–Yankees fans should be ready for whatever comes next.