"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Where Have You Gone, David Robertson?

Man, you gotta hope ol’ David Robertson somehow finds his way back to the Bronx before he hangs ’em up. He’s been a terrific Yankee. But now he’s a Philadelphia Phillie and the Yanks just paid up to secure the services of Zach Britton, he of the hard, money-earnin’ sinker.

Course River Ave Blues has the lowdown.

There’s more to do, of course, but the days are starting to get longer and you can almost smell the first hints of the season to come.

Picture by Bags


Categories:  1: Featured  Hot Stove  Yankees

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1 Chyll Will   ~  Jan 7, 2019 10:23 am

I don't know what happened with Robertson that they basically just let him walk, but I do think his not letting the analytics guy not having a piece of the playoff share was a slight at the way the Yanks are running things and Cash took it personally; why else would they not have been in touch throughout the off-season? We'll hear about it as the season progresses for sure. But if that's the case, Cash should have been the bigger person and paid the guy himself if he means that much to the team (like he did with C.C.?)...

Britton works as long as Chapman can hold up for most of the season (hopefully all of course) and they don't have to rely on him to suddenly close on a regular. They do need another option besides Sonny & company though; I'm not counting on Gray whether he ends up staying here or not.

2 Mr OK Jazz Tokyo   ~  Jan 7, 2019 7:35 pm

[1] I was disappointing to read about Roberts and the playoff shares situation, maybe D-Rob not the nice guy he seemed to be..

I got the new bio of Babe Ruth by Jane Leavy, VERY disappointing as well! Don't care for the way she structured it at all, at times it's hard to know at what year things are happening, and there is way too much time spent on the random people who hosted the Babe and Sweet Lou on their barnstorming trips. Good parts include really insightful stuff on how the 1920s created the modern world as we know it, plus all the Babe background in Baltimore.

3 Boatzilla   ~  Jan 7, 2019 9:09 pm

[1] Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. If that's the reason. Suddenly allotment of playoff shares trumps putting a winning team on the field. WTF? The most troubling part is how the story was manipulated into an issue by the Yankees. Sad. ;>)

Even the guys at RAB can't seem to find any logical reason to pass on Robertson. If it's as petty as the playoff shares issue....well, fuck me.

[2] Nice guys finish last. ;>)

4 Chyll Will   ~  Jan 7, 2019 10:47 pm

[2], [3] While I was doing research on the Yanks For A Minute pieces from the past off-season, I read quite a few articles that gave some behind-the-curtain insight on the dynamics that were driving the Yanks from the time the embarked on their rebuild in early 90s to after the dynasty kicked off. One of the things that I came away with was that if you compared the team to The Godfather as many were wont to do given Joe Torre's persona, then Cashman is either Tom Hagen or Michael Corleone. George pegged him early on while he was an intern as somebody who was going to be really important in the organization, and he obviously won the factions war before George passed. Either way, the man is cunning and ruthless when he wants to be.

If he was doing a hatchet job on Roberston, he did it very covertly, all the while telling everyone in the world he wants to get rid of Sonny Gray (but look whose still here!) is it fair to wonder what kind of relationship Gray (or any of the younger pitchers for that matter) and Robertson had, or what kind of influence he had on them? It almost reminds me of how Cash got rid of Melky because of the negative influence he was supposedly having on Robbie. I dunno if it's that deep, but Cashman has indeed made moves that on the surface didn't make sense, only to find out much later that it was a deeper than we knew (something he likely learned from his mentor Stick Michael). Did you know that he was adamantly against signing Gooden after his first stint on the Yanks roster? Meanwhile, we all know how he publicly felt about resigning A-Rod after he opted out. It He could be wrong and right...

That said, without knowing what the true backstory is, it's a bad look for Cashman; if there's any truth to it, that makes him seem rather petty in spite of what he did for CC, but from what we've seen in the past we can guess that there's far more than we know. Can't wait to read about that explanation...

5 Boatzilla   ~  Jan 8, 2019 12:20 am

[4]Fascinating insight, Chyll. Thanks for sharing. Sounds like the foundation for a great book.

6 Chyll Will   ~  Jan 11, 2019 12:43 am

RIP former Yanks hitting coach/instructor/minor league manager and baseball lifer Rick Down. He was instrumental in helping Paul O’Neill become a batting champ and was the unintended catalyst for Buck Showalter’s departure, which led to Joe Torre and the 90s Dynasty, but moreover he was the batting coach for several Yanks teams lead the league in HRs. By many accounts a jovial guy and respected by great hitters.

7 rbj   ~  Jan 11, 2019 12:05 pm

Sad to hear about Rick Downs, 68 is not that old anymore. (only 14 years away from that myself.)

I wish Roberston had been able to come back, I think he's still effective. But MLB is a business, and sentimentality is going by the wayside, though bringing Brett and CC back for one last go round is nice.

But hey, if you've got the bucks, sign Machado (and Harper.)

How about this: Machado and Harper. Put together a package deal of Miggy Jr. (sorry, but it's business), Hicks and Gray for Kluber + ? prospects? -- and figure out a way to sneak Ellsbury into someone's gear as they move to Cleveland.

8 GaryfromChevyChase   ~  Jan 11, 2019 12:58 pm

Said to hear about Rick. I'm the same age, and it creeps me out when I see the obits of so many who are my age or younger.

[7] I don't thing Haper and Machado is realistic. I do think that Cash will get one of them, ala Stanton last year. Word in this town (probably unrealistic) is that the Nats have another, bigger offer on the table for Harp.

9 Greg G   ~  Jan 11, 2019 1:19 pm

The Yanks just signed DJ Lemahieu for 2 years and $24 mil. The Machado talk is likely dead now.

Unless the Yanks dramatically swoop in and then deal one of their infielders, this is over.

I wonder if this makes it easier for the Phils or ChiSox to sign Manny now that the Yanks have moved on.

This seems like the best course to me. The Yanks will need to start paying their homegrown stars and even with some guys like Stanton and Sanchez not playing up to their ability and a DL stints for Judge and Hicks they still had a great offensive output.

In my mind, the Yanks need to get more stable pitching and I would rather have Andujar taking up a smaller portion of the payroll and making the errors then see Machado getting 30-35 mil per year.


10 Chyll Will   ~  Jan 11, 2019 1:42 pm

I don't think either is happening either at this point. Yanks just signed DJ LeMahieu to be this season's Neil Walker (and presumably a backup in case Tulo doesn't work out). They're basically saying if he wants to be a Yankee that bad, he has to come down on his asking price. They're daring him. Boras would have to do something creative just to save face if that were the case.

Harper's probably going to wait until the Nats try to take their latest offer off the table or someone makes a competitive offer; whichever comes first. It's telling that we don't know what that offer is, though; it might only be slightly higher as opposed to substantially higher. I don't think the Yanks want to spend that dough either way. They do have a good team on paper though; I still worry about the SPing, but not so much as last season.

I still believe the Yanks are spooked by how bad the Ellsbury deal has become and don't want to go deep on players while he's still on their payroll. Nobody else wants him at anything approaching fair, according to Cashman, and apparently the peripherals have them wondering if the same thing might happen with either of those two. Plus, you look at how the Cano deal has worked out for Seattle (a few productive years and a PED bust) and how the Mets are picking up the back end of that deal which promises to be horrible... I can see how they just don't want to be stuck in that situation again with maybe one championship to show for it. Plus if either had the rep of CC or Teix coming in, I bet it would side on no-brainer. But you didn't have the luxury tax complications that exist now at that time. Everyone is taking it seriously, which may or may not work out for MLB in the long run, but certainly not for the players unless they shut down before or at the end of this CBA.

11 Chyll Will   ~  Jan 11, 2019 1:57 pm

[9] Those two (Stanton, Sanchez) will be fine. If Stanton has a bad season, he opts in and stays throughout unless the Yanks find a really good trade deal that makes everyone happy. If he leaves, they'll find someone else to fill the gap. I don't think he'll be an issue either way. Sanchez can go one of two ways: he can not get back on track, gets traded or released and one less worry for the Yanks as they groom his replacement (a la Jesus Montero) or he comes back to where he was and boom, playoff locks for another decade. Sanchez' season will be more important that Stanton's in my opinion because he has more impact on the flow of the game. And you're right, it's time to consider the future, which this may really be all about. If this were my business, I'd be doing what they're doing regardless of what real me thinks.

12 Greg G   ~  Jan 11, 2019 2:10 pm

11) Yeah, I'm of the mind that 1 or both will be improved this year. I am encouraged with their offensive potential and another year under the belt for Gleyber and Andujar. Even Bird or Voit should have a more productive year at first. Offensively the Yanks are doing fine.

If this meant that Machado were going to a rival like the Astros or Sox, it would be more upsetting to lose out on him.

Let's spend the money on a front line starter next year instead.

13 Hank Waddles   ~  Jan 11, 2019 3:54 pm

I'm not too sad that they've moved away from Machado, but I have to say that I'm kind of surprised. The Ellsbury signing was a mistake mainly because he was a player whose game was highly dependent on his speed; there was no way he wasn't going to diminish drastically over the course of that contract, even without injury. In fact, you could've argued that he'd be more susceptible to injury given his style of play.

This isn't the case for Machado. A ten-year contract for Machado wouldn't be nearly the risk it would've been for Canó. Letting him walk was regrettable in the short term, but clearly the right decision. After all, which player will be better, age 36 Machado or age 41 Canó? Machado will surely decline, but it wouldn't be surprising to see him playing third base in the 2029 All-Star game. (The best comp is probably A-Rod's first deal, pre opt-out.)

I realize that laying out $250M for Machado would have made for difficult decisions when contracts for Severino and Judge and Sanchez and Torres come due, but this was a chance to buy what could be the best eight years of a Hall of Fame player's career. Not all ten-year deals are bad. The teams that get Machado and Harper will likely be satisfied ten years from now. Again, I'm not sad that Yankees won't be one of those teams, I'm just surprised. If I were the GM and not a fan, I'd have gone after Machado.

14 rbj   ~  Jan 11, 2019 4:04 pm

$35 mil per for 8 years gets you out of those last two years, and if he continues on a HoF career, 1-2 year deals at a discount to keep him in pinstripes all the way to Cooperstown.

Same with Harper.

JD LeWho? Yeah, I'm befuddled at this point.

15 Greg G   ~  Jan 11, 2019 7:56 pm

The Yanks will get Machado in 2 years after he gripes that Phillies or ChiSox can;t win and he demands to be traded. Whatever team he signs with will be on the hook for 70-80 mil and the Yanks get him at the price point they wanted to begin with.

See ARod original deal and 2018 Stanton deals for blueprint.

LeMahieu might put up big numbers? He was helped by playing 1/2 of his games in Coors Field and should get a similar bump playing in the Bronx.

Solid defensively and only a 2 year deal at a salary that does not blow the budget.

The Yanks still have flexibility to deal for a pitcher mid year for the stretch run.

I like it.

16 Mr OK Jazz Tokyo   ~  Jan 12, 2019 1:19 am

I have no idea what the Yankees are doing. Machado & Harper are HOF level talents at 26 years old, and they're signing players like DJ LeMahieu..??

17 Boatzilla   ~  Jan 12, 2019 3:46 am

[16] I'm with you, Jazz. Although the explanations above certainly make sense and raise some interesting theories.

This has been a very, very disappointing Hot Stove season. It's the equivalent of getting socks for Christmas. Make that red socks.

18 RIYank   ~  Jan 12, 2019 10:07 am

I have a theory.
We have a lot of infielders. They are all very tradable.
So I figure Cash will trade one or two, for prospects.
That's good!

19 rbj   ~  Jan 14, 2019 2:31 pm

RIP. Mel Stottlemyer

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