Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The new annual Yankee refrain: "So long, Robby"

The Yankees will never bolt a plaque for David Robertson onto the hallowed walls of Monument Park. They will never retire his jersey number 30. The man who replaced Mariano will not go into Cooperstown as a lifelong Yankee. For a long time to come, there may not be such things.

Today, Robby is becoming a Chicago Whitesock. For some reason, I cannot rid my mind of the name Carlton Fisk.

Next time we see D-Rob, he might have a beard. It will be the ninth inning, and the Yankees will be down by a run. He'll walk Gardner, then give up a double to Ellsbury - men on 1st and 3rd, no outs. The manager will walk out. The infield will huddle. The manager will walk back. The crowd will roar, and the YES men will gurgle. Then Robby will fan Tex, A-Rod and Beltran on 10 pitches. "Houdini," they'll say. And we will know how it feels.

I blame Robertson's new home on Bud Selig's rule that requires teams to lose a high draft pick for signing free agents with qualifying offers from their base franchises. The players union must have nodded off during those negotiations. Last year, all of baseball shunned Stephen Drew and Kendrys Morales, because they were attached to draft picks. Now, I believe the Yankees truly wanted to keep Robertson... but they also coveted that juicy pick, which comes with saying, "So long..."

So now we reach the crossroads: What will the Yankees do with two picks? Will they chase one of the Big Three - Lester, Scherzer or Shields - and figure the ensuing lost pick is a wash? Will they chase lesser pitchers - Brendan McCarthy or Jason Grilli - and stockpile picks, playing a long range strategy?

I can't fault Cashman's logic. The Evil Empire has two advantages over the rest of baseball, and one is rapidly fading. The first is money, which other super-rich owners are starting to spend. The second is legacy - 27 World Championships, and all those plaques in Monument Park. You can't put a price tag on history.

But someday, there may be a break in the fossil record - a long stretch devoid of lifelong Yankees. Right now, there is one remaining from 2009: Brett Gardner. He's good - but not necessarily a plaque in center.

Oh well, we were running out of jersey numbers anyway. Still, I thought "30" had a chance.


bennyboy said...

The Yankees would not have to surrender a draft pick to sign Jon Lester because he was traded mid-season. If the Yankees signed Max Scherzer, they'd have to surrender their sole first round draft pick. They received a second round pick for D-Rob because the Chicago White Sox were a bottom ten team, and bottom ten teams' first round picks are protected.

Not Anonymous said...

The old team does not receive the same pick that was surrendered by the signing team. Everyone else is just moved up.

The old team receives a "sandwich pick" between rounds 1 and 2, regardless of the pick that the signing team surrenders. So it really doesn't matter from the Yankees perspective that the White Sox pick was protected (it does from Chicago's perspective though! they only lose a 2nd round pick.)

Can't fault Robby for this one. Wish you the best and I hope you blow many a save against the yankees.