David Robertson is a solid closer at the major league level. However, closers have a way of declining quickly. Considering he is owed $36 million over the next three years, trading him could become difficult in year three or four of the deal.
Here is a question I want to ask. Is it beneficial to the Chicago White Sox to move Robertson while he still has productivity left? Or should they move him one year too early, instead of a year too late? Let’s look at the numbers.
This season, Robertson is 28-34 in saves not to mention that he has a WHIP of 0.87. He has only walked 11 men, while striking out 72. Considering the fact that he is a closer, his six wins are an excellent total, not to mention allowing 35 hits in 53 innings is solid as well. I don’t see any alarming negative statistics for Robertson anywhere on his stat line, meaning he is still capable of closing games at the big league level.
My big concern is his age. He will be 31 years-old come next April. There is also the concern of injuries. One arm injury with pitchers and a lot of times, they are never the same. That is one reason why I would try to get max value while I could for Robertson.
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It isn’t that I don’t think the White Sox are necessarily a bad team. My concern is future financial flexibility, something virtually every team in baseball needs. The last thing the White Sox need is a bad contract, especially in the bullpen.
At this point, his trade value may never be higher here on the South Side. Not to mention the fact that his contract could hinder the team from making moves in the future. The White Sox have a busy offseason ahead and having money available for potential free agent additions is a must. I realize the fact that Robertson may never get injured, decline, etc. However, the chance of these things not occurring are very low.
Robertson probably won’t bring back an elite prospect, but he may end up bringing back a decent role player or two. The more salary the White Sox can shed in deals that won’t cost them impact players the better, because this is a team that needs to get financial flexibility along with talent. With more money to spend, not to mention some good returns in a few trades it is possible for this team to be much improved in 2016.