First things first, mad props to Stacey for being up and jumping on this "David Robertson to the White Sox" story last night. I had long shut it down for the day when it broke and I barely made it past halftime of the Packer game before passing out in my armchair. I didn't find out about this until I turned on SC this morning, and after 20 or so minutes of pondering it while driving to the office, I still have no clue how I feel about it.
On the one hand, I understand it. The Yankees need a lot more help in roster places other than the bullpen. They just signed a younger pitcher who had a better 2014 season to a cheaper deal a few days earlier. They have Dellin Betances coming off a historically dominant season, and they have a ton of other young, high-upside relief arms in the top 2 levels of their farm system. D-Rob had gone from necessity to luxury with the signing of Andrew Miller and the Yankees decided they needed to spend their time and money on the necessities.
On the other hand, I don't get this at all. 4 years/$46 million? That's all it took to sign D-Rob and the Yankees didn't even make an offer??? What the hell is that about?? That's not even Papelbon money, it's less. And it's more than fair market value for D-Rob. To be one of the best and most consistent players on your team over the past 3-4 years, the handpicked replacement for the great Mariano Rivera, and not even get an offer from the only team you've ever played for doesn't seem right. It calls back to what Matt was saying last week about the Yankees not valuing their own free agents. $11.5 mil a year seems like a very reasonable investment to make your bullpen the best in baseball and help cover for your offensive and rotation depth weaknesses, especially for a team with the Yankees' bankroll.
So obviously this was about the money. And in monetary terms it comes out to an even $10 million. That's what the Yankees saved by signing Miller over D-Rob and that's the extra dough they now have to work with wherever they choose. Miller, $10 mil, and a draft pick for D-Rob. Not really a bad trade-off at all. And yet there's still something about it that doesn't sit right with me. Oh well. Thanks for all the years of high socks and great relief work, D-Rob. You were fun to watch and I'm going to miss you. Good luck in Chicago.