Feb
23

Cashman: Yankees have not had extension talks with David Robertson

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Via Dan Barbarisi: Brian Cashman confirmed the Yankees have not had any contract extension talks with David Robertson. The GM told Mark Feinsand the team’s no extensions policy is a thing of the past after they signed Brett Gardner long-term earlier today.

Robertson, 28, will earn $5.125M this year before becoming a free agent after the season. He will be a full-time closer for the first time this summer, and closers make a lot more money than setup men. Unless the Yankees pay him like a closer or he is concerned about getting hurt this year, Robertson has little reason to take an extension right now.

Categories : Asides
  • Jorge Steinbrenner

    This one’s the tougher one to get. It’s be quite a coup, but Robertson’s got little reason to do this. Barring complete meltdown or injury, he’s getting paid in 2015.

    • Wicomico Pinstripes

      If the FO offered him FA closer type money I think he accepts. He seems to enjoy playing in NY and there’s still the possibility he goes out and gets injured or simply isn’t effective.

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        I think it’s still worth the risk for him to test the market AND giving him the closer money now takes away a lot of the reason to extend him, with not having to compete on the open market for him being the lone compelling reason left.

        • Wicomico Pinstripes

          Not having to compete with other teams in the off-season is the main reason for extending him at this point. I do agree that he should wait and see what free agency has to offer him though.

          • Jorge Steinbrenner

            To me it’s more both not having to compete in the open market and hoping to get below market value for a closer.

            I just don’t see why he wouldn’t roll the dice on getting the big deal. I can’t see a player taking less because he might get injured or not be up to the task.

        • vicki

          i frankly marvel that more players (and agents) aren’t opting to hit the open market, considering the outrageous numbers free agents are signing for. but over and over, security wins out.

    • toad

      What would you estimate to be the chance that Robertson either has a bad season or suffers an injury serious enough to call his future into question?

      • Preston

        There is always that chance, and relievers are especially susceptible to falling off a cliff. But Robertson isn’t turning 29 for another month, he has had three consecutive seasons as an elite reliever. The one thing you might flag for him is that his K rate dipped last year. But his average velocity on his FB was exactly the same as it was in 2012 and a tick higher than his career average. So it’s probably a result of him throwing more pitches for strikes than any loss of stuff. The fact that he posted the lowest walk rate of his career backs that up. In addition he’s keeping the ball down, leading to a career best GB rate. All of these things point to him setting himself up to age well when the Ks stop coming quite so easily in his 30s. I honestly wouldn’t hesitate to offer him a 3/30 million dollar extension right now. Although I’m not sure he’d take it. If he has a great year as a closer the way FA has inflated contracts I bet he gets something closer to Papelbon money.

        • toad

          I largely agree.

          I was thinking about it more from Robertson’s point of view. How much is he willing to bet that nothing bad will happen to him this year?

          It’s not just a question of odds. If he signs an extension that is, say, 75% of what he would get as a FA after a decent season, it’s still going to be a barrel of money by any reasonable standard. Does it make sense for him to risk that, even if he thinks it’s 90% that all goes well in 2014?

          Maybe it’s hard to think about money the way a successful MLB player does, but if you have a chance to get 3/30 with no risk, and the prospect that you will still be in your early 30’s when the contract ends, you have to have a lot of confidence, in yourself and, more important, your luck, to turn it down.

          • Preston

            Yeah, I agree. I tend to think I would have signed an Evan Longoria type deal after my first strong season to guarantee I walked away from the game with big time money rather than wait and hope for an even bigger payday. I think that players tend to be ultra competitive and part of that isn’t assuming that they’re going to fail.

            • toad

              Yeah.

              There may be some competition with other players going on as well.

              “Hey. So-and-so got $12 million a year. Why should I take ten?” It may not be wise, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t affect their thinking.

  • Pinkie Pie

    Cashman needs to lock this shit down. Robertson is too valuable to this team to risk letting him leave in free agency.

  • JGYank

    “the team’s no extensions policy is a thing of the past”

    Best news I’ve heard in years. Think losing Cano influenced this?

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      No. I simply think they’re adjusting to a landscape that sees less players hitting free agency. Tanaka and the long look at Diaz they’re taking are probably a result of this as well.

      • JGYank

        Yeah they’re definitely starting to adjust to the landscape. Starting to sign extensions, revisiting the international market, etc. Seeing the Braves handing out extensions left and right and locking up their core just emphasizes that point that less players make it to FA. But the Yanks had to start this unless they want to go on spending sprees like they just had this offseason to contend. The no extensions policy arguably cost them Cano. I know they extended him once and Cano probably would of have wanted huge offer to keep him off the market but they should of made a better effort before he hit FA to keep him.

        • Jorge Steinbrenner

          I think the Braves are getting a bit too extension-happy, but that’s another topic for another time.

          • Kevin

            That’s something that only time will tell. Right now, the baseball community seems to be freaking out about what a great set of moves that was, Braves fans are acting as excited as though the Braves had added someone new. Their extensions, though, don’t seem to be so below market that they could survive more than one going belly up. They don’t have to look far for that either, Uggla’s extension is awful for them.

            • BigLoving

              I’d be excited too if I was a Braves fan. In my eyes they have the best crop of young MLB talent in the game. People forget how young Heyward and Upton still are bc they have been in the league for so long already. With Freeman essentially becoming the new face of the franchise for years to come after chipper retired and the rest of the young players on the team this team really had a bright future if the FO can surround the core with the right complimentary players.

            • Jorge Steinbrenner

              Second part of your comment is exactly what I see. Those extensions are not that team-friendly, and is hate to see them so locked down to players who may not live up to what they’re looking to achieve.

          • LK

            In a vacuum, the only Braves deal that gave me pause was Kimbral. That’s just too many years for a reliever for me, though I get that he’s the best one in baseball.

            Overall though, I think all of the extensions put together does limit their flexibility. Simmons is the only one that I think was a slam dunk for the team.

            • qwerty

              four years for the best reliever in baseball is not long. He’ll be 29 by the time it’s over.

            • Preston

              I think that’s the best deal they signed. MLB trade rumors did a good break down of what Kimbrel might have earned through arbitration. http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/craig-kimbrel/

              Sure he’s a reliever and things could go bad, but I tend to think he would have won the arbitration hearing which means he would have made 9 million his first time through. If he keeps doing what he’s doing he would have made most of that contract in the arbitration years, and then they’d have to give him something much bigger than Papelbons contract to keep him long term. The Freddie Freeman deal gives me a lot more pause. He’s a nice player. But I just see him more as a league average first baseman than the MVP candidate he was last season. I don’t think he’s going to be posting a .371 BABIP every year.

              • Jorge Steinbrenner

                Agreed. Freeman was the eyebrow-raiser for me.

  • Greene

    “…Think losing Cano influenced this?”

    No, I believe they simply didn’t believe he was worth a ten year contract. Though I do agree it is refreshing to see the Yankee’s front office extending players

    • RetroRob

      And let us not forget that the Yankees did extend Cano, which is why he didn’t become a free agent until he was 30. It would have been great if they could have added on another three years to that contract, but Cano and his agent traded back some of his free agent years at a lower rate for financial security, while leaving the door open to one big payday. Both sides benefited.

    • qwerty

      Refreshing yes, but Cashman is still an idiot. They signed Ellsbury for more money and years even though they had every intention of keeping Gardner. That’s just stupid.

      • Preston

        I think that it’s a new understanding of the game. Defense saves runs in LF too. Just because traditionally you stick power hitters in the corner OF spots doesn’t mean there aren’t other ways to create value. I also think that Mike overstates it when he says Ellsbury and Gardner have NO power. Gardner’s career ISO is .114 and last year it was .143, Ellsbury’s career ISO is .144 and last year it was .128, league average ISO last season was .143. Neither guy is Juan Pierre or anything. And given that power peaks later in guys careers. I think it’s reasonable to expect both to post around league average power numbers going forward.

  • OldYanksFan

    The Yankees should lock up D-Rob. They have enough money that they don’t need to steal him… just pay market rate… especially considering there is always 1 or 2 desparate teams that will pay higher then the ‘going rate’ on the FA market.

    We have lost (by next year) the Core Four. As a fan, losing Cano was painful (but justified). Signing Gritner was excellent. We need a new core. The devil you know is better than the devil you don’t know, so sign DRob. The are no good deals for upper crust FAs. Why gamble on next years market? Grab DRob now. I’m sure he would like to stay a Yankee.

  • Rick

    Because any time you can wait until the last minute to try and extend your best relief pitcher to a below market extension, you have to do it.