Mailbag: Betances, Robertson, Iglesias, Ruth

The River Avenue Blues Podcast: Episode 11
2014 Pre-Draft Top 30 Prospects

Only six questions for you this week, but they’re good ones. Remember to use the Submit A Tip box in the sidebar to send us anything at anytime.


Paul asks: Dellin Betances: All-Star?

At this point in time, I say yes on merit and no on actually getting elected to the game. Among the 108 relievers who had thrown at least 20 innings going into yesterday’s game, Betances ranked first in strikeouts (51), second in strikeout rate (44.9%), and second in FIP (1.02). Wade Davis ranked second (40), first (44.9%), and first (0.94), respectively. Betances has legitimately been one of the five or ten best relievers in baseball this season and that makes him All-Star Game worthy in my opinion.

Non-closing relievers get elected to the All-Star Game every year — Brett Cecil and Jesse Crain went just last year, for example — but it’s usually only one or two (not including the final vote). Remember, Red Sox manager John Farrell is filling out the AL roster this year after the players have their vote, and the manager tends to take his own guys. Joe Torre did it all the time in the late-90s and early-2000s. Would the Red Sox manager take a Yankees middle reliever over one of his own guys like Junichi Tazawa or Koji Uehara? Probably not. Betances has been awesome and I think he belongs to be in the All-Star Game, but belonging there and getting there are two different things.

Matt asks: Can you see the Yankees letting David Robertson walking at the end of the year and giving Betances the closer job?

Yes, I could, but the problem is that they’d still have to replace Robertson. Sure, Betances takes his role as the closer, but the Yankees would still be letting an elite reliever walk. Robertson is replaced as closer, but who replaces Betances as the middle innings fireman? Maybe someone like Danny Burawa or Mark Montgomery or Jose Ramirez could step up and do the job, but until they get a chance, we don’t know how much they can really help.

The Yankees have done a very good job of fielding a quality bullpen on the relatively cheap over the years, and letting Robertson walk as a free agent and saving $10-12M a year to spend elsewhere makes sense. At the same time, Robertson just turned 29 and he hasn’t had any arm problems in his career. He’s a strikeout machine who has proven he can handle high leverage spots in New York. It’s tough to let that guy walk, isn’t it? If he’s demanding Jonathan Papelbon money, then yeah, maybe let him walk. But if they can get Robertson to come back on a three-year deal worth that $10-12M per year (Rafael Soriano money, basically), I think they should do it. This isn’t like letting Joba Chamberlain or Luis Ayala walk.

Travis asks: What about Raciel Iglesias? What are the scouting reports on him?

Iglesias, 24, defected from Cuba over the winter and is throwing a showcase for scouts in Haiti today, according to Joel Sherman. Sherman says teams view the right-hander as a bullpen arm who could help as soon as the second half of this year (he was a reliever in Cuba). Here’s some more from Ben Badler:

Major league scouts (and Baseball America) have been able to see Iglesias pitch in person outside of Cuba twice this year. At the World Baseball Classic in March, Iglesias pitched at 88-92 mph. When Cuba visited the U.S. in July for a five-game friendship series against the U.S. College national team, Iglesias looked more impressive, throwing 92-95 mph while varying the speed and shape of his sweepy 76-81 mph breaking ball to get swings and misses.

“I think he’s a guy that, as he gets bigger and stronger, could be in the mid-to-upper 90s,” said Team USA coach Jim Schlossnagle, who is also the coach at Texas Christian. “He’s lean, has a ridiculously loose arm and pounded the strike zone. I was glad they didn’t pitch him more. He was the guy where you’re like, ‘Let’s find a way to get a lead before they get to this guy.’”

Badler says Iglesias stands 5-foot-11 and 165 lbs., so he’s a skinny little guy. You can see that in the video above. I’ve also seen his name spelled Raciel, Raicel, and Rasiel, so we don’t even know how to properly spell the guy’s name at this point. There isn’t much information about him available. Sherman is well connected though, and if he hears that teams think Iglesias could help in the bullpen later this year, then it’s probably true. I assume the Yankees will do their due diligence — they can use another reliever, but that’s true for every team — but I haven’t heard anything specific about their level of interest. Same goes for every other team for that matter.

Wandy. (Justin K. Aller/Getty)
Wandy. (Justin K. Aller/Getty)

A different Mike asks: Should the Yanks see if they can nab Wandy Rodriguez? He was recently designated. I don’t know if I’d give him a major league deal but a minor one for certain.

Yeah, there’s no way I’d give Wandy a big league contract at this point, but there’s no harm in a minor league deal. The Pirates ate about $5.5M in salary by cutting him — yet they won’t call up Gregory Polanco because they’re worried about a similar amount of money three years into the future, but I digress — so no one will claim him off waivers and take on that money. Rodriguez will eventually be released and free to sign with anyone.

Before getting designated for assignment, the 35-year-old southpaw had a 6.75 ERA (7.32 FIP) in 26.2 innings. He also gave up ten homers (!) and has been dealing with on and off elbow problems the last two years. Wandy’s numbers against lefties haven’t been all that good either, so it’s not even like there is reason to think he could help as a situational reliever. There’s no harm in giving him a minor league deal just to see if something clicks, but I don’t see how an AL East team could stick this guy on their active roster right now.

Nik asks: Question about Extended Spring Training games. Just who exactly is left down in Tampa to play these games? We hear about rehabbing players going to ExST and playing and how that doesn’t count toward their return countdown. Are these like practice squad players?

Extended Spring Training is basically Spring Training for the two short season leagues. It’s similar to regular old Spring Training in that there are daily drills and games against other ExST teams. They travel to the other complexes in Florida and everything. The games are not official though, they’re basically scrimmages. From what I understand they are open to the public too, you can just walk in and watch.

The players in ExST are the guys under contract with the team who have not been assigned to one of the full season minor league affiliates. SS Thairo Estrada is in ExST right now. So are RHP Ty Hensley and OF Leonardo Molina, for example. ExST ends when the short season leagues start in late-June (so when Short Season Staten Island and the Gulf Coast League Yanks begin play) and the players who do not get assigned to a minor league affiliate at that time are released or hidden on the phantom disabled list somewhere. It’s pretty much exactly what it sounds like, a continuation of Spring Training, only with minor leaguers.


Ryan asks: After seeing what Babe Ruth’s paycheck was it has me curious. If Ruth were say a 28 year old free agent today, what type of deal do you think he would sign? Money and years.

Here is Ruth’s paycheck, if you miss it floating around the internet the other day (I did). He was paid $7,685.23 twice a month (MLB players are paid on the 15th and 30th during the season, so today’s payday), which works out to $104,709.93 in 2014 dollars according to the CPI Inflation Calculator. That puts his annual salary at $1.25M or so in 2014 dollars, which is nothing by MLB standards. Baseball salaries have increased at a rate greater than general inflation.

Ruth was 32 years old in 1927 (the date on the paycheck) and was still a marvelous hitter, hitting his career-high and then-record 60 homers that season. Here is what Ruth did through his age 28 season:

1914 19 BOS AL 5 10 1 2 1 0 0 0 0 4 .200 .200 .300 .500 49
1915 20 BOS AL 42 103 16 29 10 1 4 20 9 23 .315 .376 .576 .952 188
1916 21 BOS AL 67 152 18 37 5 3 3 16 10 23 .272 .322 .419 .741 121
1917 22 BOS AL 52 142 14 40 6 3 2 14 12 18 .325 .385 .472 .857 162
1918 23 BOS AL 95 382 50 95 26 11 11 61 58 58 .300 .411 .555 .966 192
1919 24 BOS AL 130 543 103 139 34 12 29 113 101 58 .322 .456 .657 1.114 217
1920 25 NYY AL 142 616 158 172 36 9 54 135 150 80 .376 .532 .847 1.379 255
1921 26 NYY AL 152 693 177 204 44 16 59 168 145 81 .378 .512 .846 1.359 238
1922 27 NYY AL 110 496 94 128 24 8 35 96 84 80 .315 .434 .672 1.106 182
1923 28 NYY AL 152 697 151 205 45 13 41 130 170 93 .393 .545 .764 1.309 239
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 5/29/2014.

Bold means he led the AL, bold and italicized means he led all of MLB. Take a second to fully grasp how dominant a hitter Ruth was. Defense is irrelevant at that point. He could have sat in a lawn chair in the outfield and been the best player in the game, which he clearly was.

Anyway, Ruth had a 231 OPS+ in his first four years in pinstripes. Miguel Cabrera had a 177 OPS+ in the four years before signing his record extension this spring. (We can’t really compare raw homer totals given the difference in eras, but Ruth hitting 40+ in the 1920s is far superior to Miggy hitting 40+ these days. Ruth out-homered entire teams back in the day.) Cabrera’s deal was ten years and $292M total, the extension plus the two years left on his current contract. He wasn’t a free agent on the open market, so there no bidding war to drive up the price.

Having just completed his age 28 season, I think Ruth would wind up getting something like 12 years and $396M ($33M per year) these days. That’s nothing more than my guess, we’re in uncharted territory here. Ruth was far and away the best player in baseball and I think that would result in far and away the richest contract in sports history. Remember how Alex Rodriguez‘s contract with the Rangers shattered records (the second largest sports contract at the time was Kevin Garnett’s $126M deal)? I think that would happen again today if 28-year-old Ruth hit free agency in today’s market. It would be unlike anything we’ve seen before.

The River Avenue Blues Podcast: Episode 11
2014 Pre-Draft Top 30 Prospects
  • Yangeddard Solarte

    1. Of course Delin is an All Star. He’s been lights out as a reliever. Farrell knows how dominant he’s been and will take him. A dominant fireman like Delin deserves to go.

    2. They better not mess with a good thing they have here. The one place this ballclub isn’t old and brittle is that bullpen. Delin should stay in the role he is and Drob should be re-signed as a closer.

    3. Wandy is awful. I wouldn’t take him to be on the A ball club.

    4. Except Ruth might not have as good of numbers in today’s era. The game is completely different with integration. Even so, the Yankees would probably be the only team that could afford him.

    • Dick M

      Ditto number 2.

    • Wolfgang’s Fault

      Betances has been a revelation, but I’d like to see him in the setup role & have him succeed there for a while first before anointing him as the next closer. We don’t really know how Betances will react to getting rocked as it hasn’t happened yet at the big league level. Eventually he’ll blow a ballgame or two. How he reacts will tell us a lot about him. You saw D-Rob blow that game in Chicago w/the Dunn walk off, & the next night, he’s lights out. Good closers/pitchers have to be able to do that. We’ll find out at some point w/Betances. As for D-Rob specifically, just a great dude all the way around. The big concern w/him, of course, is he’s not the most imposing guy physically, has never closed in a pennant race (has barely closed at all, in fact), & you worry about how he’ll weather all the extra stress & pressure physically as the summer wears on.

      With the starters not going deep into games for the most part (other than Tanaka), Yankee fans have to be concerned about the wear on the entire bullpen. As a matter of fact, the entire pitching staff is a concern. I keep harping on it but they really need a huge influx of quality arms into the system, & then they have to figure out a way to develop at least some of it into effective starting pitching. The franchise needs at least 1 or 2 guys knocking on the door every year. They’ve gotta do a better job of finding and developing pitchers. In the meantime, Warren, Phelps, Nuno, & Whitely, have been solid to good. They need Aceves to be better, but I like having him around. Still think he’s knocking some of the rust off & will get better as the summer wears on. He really could prove to be a very important guy if the club stays in the hunt into August & September. Thornton needs to be better than he’s been.

      I don’t know what the Babe in his prime would do in this era, but I’d jump at the chance to be in the ballpark to witness it. IMO, Mantle, in his prime & w/healthy pins & right shoulder would still be a once in a lifetime elite type player, & he’d be drawing some serious coin.

  • Ethan

    I’m curious what you think bonds would get going into say the 1998 or 2000 season. That stretch bonds had from 2001-2004 has gotta be the best stretch ever in baseball.

    • nyyankfan7

      Depends on whether or not he has to pass a drug test in order to get paid

    • Dick M

      There’s the pre-juicing Bonds and the juicing Bonds.

      “…… the best stretch (by a juicer) ever in baseball.”

      • hogsmog

        He was essentially the most dominant all-around player even before juicing, though. People tend to forget that the year he broke the single season record was his tenth season in a row with an OPS over 1.000. “Pre-juice” Bonds also lead the league in walks for 5 seasons, so it wasn’t just like his OBP went through the roof because people were trying to pitch around hulk-Bonds. He won three MVPs, and managed to steal nearly all of his 500 bases during that time period.

        The man was a machine, drugs or not. A hall of famer by anyone’s standards even if his career ended in 1999.

        • Dick M

          A hall-of famer, pre-juice, yes.

          The most dominant all around player (even before juicing)? Step away from the keyboard.

          • hogsmog

            Who do you think beats him for the title ‘player of the 90s’? Thomas or Griffey, possibly Bagwell might come close, but I think Bonds was a more complete player than any of them.

            • Dick M

              I read that to mean “most dominant”, not “most dominant in the 90s”. I almost threw Bonds’ godfather at you.

              I was always a Griffey guy. I went to a Mariners game at the stadium when they had Edgar, Buhner and ARod. I was in the 2nd row, right next to the visitor’s dugout by the on deck circle and was able to watch them take BP. Edgar, Buhner and ARod looked like pro wrestlers with these enormous v-shaped chests and shoulders. Griffey looked like he didn’t belong.

          • hogsmog

            And I mean, even if you do have a different opinion, there’s no way that saying Bonds was the most dominant player of his time before he did steroids is crazy. Cut it out with the ‘step away from the keyboard’ crap, please.

    • nyyankfan7

      Really it comes down to whether or not Bonds has to pass a drug test – if he does then he’s not getting paid squat.

      • nyyankfan7

        apparently I thought that was so important I said it twice…. damn computer.

    • Improbable Island’s Dirty Midget Whores (formerly RRR)

      I think Ruth might still be able to give him a run for his money, though I vaguely remember hearing that the Pinstriped Bible weighed in and concluded that yes, Ruth was the better player, but not by nearly as much as people think – Bonds was right on his tail.

  • JLC 776

    If Babe Ruth today signed a $30MM per year contract through age 40 fans would still find a reason to bitch about it!

    • BeanTooth

      But then look how it turned out. He didn’t really crash until his final year, which would’ve been the last year of the contract. He went through the expected decline, but still remained remarkably productive. Maybe hoping for something like that is why GMs still give out these ridiculous contracts.

    • WhittakerWalt

      “Just another bloated contract for an over-the-hill veteran, when the smartest thing to do is break up the team and rebuild the farm system!”

  • The Other Mister D

    While you are correct in saying that baseball salaries have outpaced inflation, it should always be noted that one of the main reasons for this was that the salaries were artificially depressed for decades due to the reserve clause.

    As for Ruth in particular, I would also have to consider that not only was he the best player in baseball by a wide margin (powered by hot dogs and beer), he was also one of the biggest stars in the world, and arguably the biggest single draw that baseball ever had. $33m actually seems a bit low.

    • CashmanNinja

      I actually agree with that. The Babe was insanely marketable. He was charismatic and well liked. He had a face that everyone recognized. Go look at all of the advertising back in the day of no-name brands that he endorsed. He endorsed tons of stuff because people were willing to pay because of his image. I could see him hitting $40 mil a year because he was *that* dominant. He didn’t hit any cheapie home runs, he’d absolutely nail them…and that was before ball parks, bats, and balls were designed to produce more home runs. Imagine what he’d do now.

      • Yangeddard Solarte

        But then there’s integration and specialty pitching. Plus if Ruth was still that good they’d just walk him and pitch to Brian McCann.

        • Kosmo

          “specialty pitching“ Ruth hit .325 lifetime vs. LHP . He crushed LHP.

          Maybe I missed something but what does integration have to do with Ruth ?

          • lee

            Less competition would probably be the argument.

          • Yan Solo

            I think his point is that integration made the game that much better because many blacks who did (and later would) out perform many of the MLB white players were not in the league and therefore the league was not as tough as it could be. Watching Ken Burns Baseball and especially the significant attention to the development of integration in the sport, I actually agree with his comment on integration because the league truly did improve and become tougher and although Ruth would have still been the best, the league would have had a lot more parity in it and the pitching would have been much tougher to go up against for Ruth (i.e. having to face the best of the best pitchers and not just the best of the best white pitchers). Either way, I think it would’ve been interesting to see how the best players of MLB prior to Jackie Robinson and integration would have performed if they had lived in a different era (i.e. integration, the DH, Interleague play, expanded playoffs, etc.). Likewise, it would be interesting to see how today’s best hitters would’ve handled the pitchers prior to the change in the ball right around the emergence of Ruth.

            • RetroRob

              I think we all realize that Ruth would not be a lifetime .340 hitter if he played today. The level of competition has increased, the equipment has improved, etc. And, yes, the game was not integrated when Ruth played, although I’m probably in the minority (no pun…) on this in that I doubt it would have made a substantial difference. Ruth dominated when he barnstormed against the Negro League players.

              Someone actually went through many of the box scores and newspaper clippings that he could find when Ruth barnstormed and his stats were even better than they were against MLB talent. That’s not really surprising when you think about it. He wasn’t playing against integrated teams there either. He transformed the game, and his HR power was just as alien, if not more so, to the players from the Negro Leagues, at least at the start.

              If we could magically drop the 34-year-old Ruth into today’s game he would be amazed at the speed of the game and frankly would be overmatched. He would have to be taught just how to catch with today’s gloves. But that’s not his fault. He dominated against his generation like no other player dominated.

              Now, if we could magically drop the 17-year-old Ruth into today’s world, I’ll take him #1 in the upcoming draft. I not only want whatever genetic gift he had, but the personality that shaped him. Let him adapt to today’s game in the minors, while also enjoying every advantage today’s players get, from the thin-handled bats, to the body armor, to the conditioning, video replay, etc., etc., etc. By the time the 21-year-old Ruth makes the Majors just as a hitter, he might hit more than 714 HRs with all those extra years.

              He’s Babe “fricken” Ruth.

          • Ed

            There are people who believe every change in baseball since Ruth played means that players today are better than players back then, and that if you were to bring the old players to modern times, they wouldn’t take advantage of anything available today that wasn’t available back in their time.

            According to those people, if Babe Ruth played today, he’d basically be Shelly Duncan.

        • Improbable Island’s Dirty Midget Whores (formerly RRR)

          The claim that integration would have made Ruth worse is grossly unfair. Ruth would play against negro league teams all the time in the off-season, and he’d crush them too.

          • Yan Solo

            You’re right. It probably wouldn’t have made too much of a difference for Ruth, but it would’ve made a difference to the entire league and to a degree that has to affect every player in the league. Some more than others. Not disputing your point, as I don’t have any data, but what level of black talent was Ruth playing in the off-season does have to be taking into consideration when saying he dominated them and it wouldn’t have made a difference. I’m not going against your comment necessarily as I’m sure he played some of their top talent at some points, but to what degree would have to be taken into account. You could easily be right though.

          • adjusts batting gloves

            Evidence that Ruth played against Negro League teams as a barnstormer? All I know is that my grandfather was the 19 year old backup 2b for the barnstorming Havana Red Sox, and played with the Babe during winter ball, back when Batista owned Cuba. A light-skinned Polish Jew, my grandfather had to play under a fake Irish name. The league didn’t even allow native Cubans to play…I don’t think there was much “interleague” play, even at the semipro offseason level, but I could be wrong.

            • Improbable Island’s Dirty Midget Whores (formerly RRR)

              You are most definitely incorrect. Read “The Truth About Ruth” and the biography “The Babe”. There was a ton of interleague play in the offseason. Ruth dominated.

            • Improbable Island’s Dirty Midget Whores (formerly RRR)

              Sorry, the biography is “The Big Bam”.

              Incidentally, “The Truth About Ruth” is practically a must read for all statistics minded fans.

        • The Other Mister D

          I get what you’re saying but I feel that is a separate argument. I think the question was assuming that Ruth would still be Ruth, regardless of integration and the rest.

          That said we have to remember there would be a flip side to this: the media would never, ever overlook his off the field antics the way they did back then. What was a PR dream in the 1920s could be a nightmare today.

    • Gonzo

      I don’t think he would be the biggest sports star in the world these days. The landscape of sports business has changed a lot since Ruth’s days.

      You also have to consider Ruth’s actions off the field. He was protected by the media back then. Nobody wanted to print the story about Ruth bragging that he banged every prostitute in a particular brothel. *true story* Nowadays, reporters would fall over themselves to get the dirt on him. How would that play up to advertisers and fans?

      All that said, I think he could do a little better than $33mm for 12 years especially if Boras was his agent.

    • RetroRob

      Yeah, I agree. There is no player comparable to him. He wasn’t one of the biggest stars in baseball, he was by far the biggest and most marketable athlete in the world.

      There is no comparables. $33M does seem low.

  • Kosmo

    Ruth won 94 games as a SP and an additional 3 games in the WS. He held a record for consecutive scoreless innings in WS competition for something like 40+ years until Whitey Ford broke the record in 1961 ?

    A truly amazing athlete.

    I´ve always enjoyed the stories told of Ruth when he visited Japan.

    I agree arguably the most marketable athlete to ever live. Michael Jordan a close second.

  • D$1184

    I just looked over the Yankees roster after hearing that very, very old, tired criticism that the Yankees are “old”. The Yankees could actually have a relatively young roster after this season. Here’s a look at the oldest players on the roster who could all be gone after this season:

    Ichiro (40), Jeter (39), Kuroda (39), Soriano (38), Roberts (36).

    All of a sudden, the only “old guys” on the roster are A-Rod, if he comes back (39/40), Beltran (38) and Teixeira (35).

    • D$1184

      And 38 year old Matt Thornton will also be on next year’s roster.

      • Yan Solo

        If he isn’t released by then. I complete forget that he’s even an option out of the pen until he gets into an actual game. And then it’s just “Meh. Whatever.” Hope he turns into some kind of value for the Yankees.

    • Dan G

      And Mo (44), Andy (41), A-Roid (39) Grandy/Swish (33) & Stewart (32) are all gone this season and were effectively replaced by Robertson, Tanaka, Solarte, Ellsbury and McCann. And that literally makes the team 50 years younger (technically 49).

      IMO, having older players is perfectly fine as long as you have younger talent to bring up to fill holes. This is how STL goes through Motte and Boggs last year and their “backup plan” is a kid who throws 100 MPH. And if Rosenthal doesn’t work out, they STILL have Martinez and about a dozen other prospects. And that’s on top of having the #1 prospect in all of baseball.

      The Babe Ruth question was really fun and I have a feeling if Trout keeps it up and ever hits the open market we’ll have our question answered.

      • Worst Fans In Baseball

        The difference is that Mike Trout has all the personality of a sack of potatoes. He’s like a Lexus sports car, great performance but you don’t feel a thing.

  • John C

    Dellin will be the first one Theo asks for when Yanks approach the Cubs about Samardjia

    • AndrewYF

      Dellin certainly wouldn’t be headlining the deal. A reliever never does, no matter how young and dominant.

  • Yan Solo

    The “homer” picks by the AS managers is also another example of the institutional failure of MLB regarding the AS game. A manager gets to make the final picks, and in that case, he can pick his own guy(s) and leave off arguably the most valuable reliever(s) and/or position player(s) (so far) of the 1st half? That’s crap. It’s time baseball just moved the AS game to the end of the season like the Pro Bowl and make it a fun and meaningless event for the fans in a beautiful setting like Hawaii or Florida (or maybe rotate it around overseas instead of having these opening day games in Australia, and the like, while ST is still unfinished). This half-assed system of “now it counts” is a pathetic attempt to make it hold some weight while still honoring the ridiculous popularity contest that it is.

    • monkeypants

      It’s time baseball just moved the AS game to the end of the season like the Pro Bowl and make it a fun and meaningless event for the fans

      Well, it always was a fun and meaningless (with respect to the real season) game regardless of when it was played. Only MLB and the fans decided that THIS TIME IT COUNTS and tied WS homefield to the outcome.

  • TWTR

    Losing Robertson, after losing Cano, and not getting a compensatory pick would suck, and is a poor use of assets.

    They have tons of money. Either sign him, or trade him.

    • RetroRob

      They never intended to lose Cano. What you’re suggesting is if they can’t be 100% sure they can sign a player, they should just trade him regardless of the impact to the current seasons. The Yankees don’t fold ’em. Other teams do.

  • Dick M

    How is it an old, tired criticism when they are in fact the oldest team in baseball.

    • The Other Mister D

      Saying that they are the oldest team is simply a statement of fact. However that fact can be used to criticize the team, and we’ve heard that for years. It does have its drawbacks, but it has not (so far) been the complete disaster others have predicted (and the Yankees have generally dealt with age better than the Philadelphia Fogies).

      • RetroRob

        I’ve been watching the Yankees since the 70s. For most of the time there is always the “complaint” that they’re an older team. It’s true. They’re also good teams. I’d take 44-year-old Rivera back on the team now, along with 41-year-old Pettitte, making the team even older.

  • qwerty

    Even if Robertson doesn’t demand Papelbon money is signing him to a long term big money deal really worth it? If Betances continues on his current trajectory he’ll be better than Robertson, if not equal. After that you have guys like Mark Montgomery, Robert Cuello, Jose Ramirez, and Danny Burawa who could all potentially be setup men. Moreover, it’s not like Adam Warren is going anywhere. He’s not as good as Betances, but he should be more than adequate to set up.

    • RetroRob

      Why not keep both, and more importantly keep Betances in the higher leverage innings. Makes the Yankees better.

      • qwerty

        It’s a waste of talent if not resources. Like I said, the yankees potentially have five pitchers who can setup, maybe even close. Why waste money on Robertson and waste Betances as a setup man. The 97 yankees knew better and let Wetteland go for the same reason.