Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Uh-oh. Could another prodigal son be returning?

The dial-up modem grapevines of the Yankiverse are still tingling over the chance of a trade for Jose Quintana, even though Joel Sherman has tweeted that it won't happen, and if Joel Fukinay Sherman tweets that something won't fukinay happen, well, it better not even think about it. But the newest wrinkle raises concerns, because it's a plot device that pops up repeatedly in Yankee movies: We're supposedly thinking about bringing back David Robertson.

Okay, so what's NOT to like about David Robertson. He was a fine, clean-shaven Yankee with a charitable foundation and kinky socks. He gave us relief after Mariano's retirement - 39 saves that following year. With Robertson, along with Dellin and El Chapo, we could re-assemble another three-closer bullpen, which for some reason now seems to be a Yankee commonality. (And one that, considering how Joe Girardi uses them, maybe ought to be re-thought.) 

Robertson is 31. Last year, he saved 34 games for the lowly White Sox. In both of his seasons there - (bearded, I should note) - his ERA ballooned to more than 3.40 - which means somebody was hitting him. Over the last three years, his strikeout totals have consistently tumbled - from 96 to 75, though his innings pitched remained constant. He's transitioning from blazing heat to sinister guile, and he's a smart enough guy to figure it out, right?

But, but, BUT... when and why do the Yankees ever bring back former popular players?

Usually, it's a short-lived ploy to restore confidence among fans who don't really follow the team all that closely. Remember when they did it with Tino? He came back, hit a few home runs, posed for the cameras, and the Yankees pretended nothing had changed - when, in fact, nothing was the same. They brought back Mike Stanton, David Wells, David Cone... jeeze, don't get me started; last summer, they were on the verge of bringing back Nick Swisher - they bring guys back constantly, like a pre-Old Timers Day curtain call, and with almost always the same result: A brief resurgence and then a long, involved examination of why some previous team traded them.

I don't support the notion of trading prospects for Quintana, because it would mean that, once again, Hal Steinbrenner cannot stick to a plan. That said, you can only judge deals by details, and without specifics, who the hell knows anything? If the Yankees are 10 games out next July, maybe they could deal Quintana for a raft of kids. Still, a red flag is now flying over these talks with Chicago: The White Sox are trying to shed David Robertson's contract, and the Yankees may be thinking that his return will bring joy to the fan base - as in ticket sales.

We don't need three closers, and if Hal is going to be Mr. Thrift Shop, we certainly don't need another bad contract. I wish David Robertson the best. I wish we'd kept him, all this time. But his return to the Yankees, especially if attached to a larger deal, would have to be a really bad omen.


Anonymous said...

I saw that it might be a three team trade with Pittsburgh. So I say

Yankees get: Todd Frazier and David Robinson.
White Sox get: McCutchen, Gardner, Headley. Some Pirate AA guy
Pirates get Quintana,

We get a decent replacement for Headly with more pop and a decent reliever and move Gardner to open LF.

Doug K.

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