White Sox closer David Robertson had surgery on his left knee. Despite this, he should be ready to go for spring training. The right hander had a cleanup procedure to repair damage to his meniscus.
Chicago White Sox closer David Robertson underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee. According to Scott Merkin of MLB.com, the right hander had the procedure done last week to repair a torn meniscus. It sounds serious, but Merkin reports he will be ready to return, without restrictions, by February.
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Robertson had an up and down 2016 campaign. However, the White Sox say his knee did bother him for a portion of the season. The 31 year old had a 3.47 ERA in 62 1/3 innings and his 37 saves were tied for fourth in the American League. He did have seven blown saves, which tied him for second in the league.
Robertson signed a four year $46 million contract with the team in 2014 after a solid season with the New York Yankees. As the heir to Mariano Rivera, he saved 39 games and posted a 3.08 ERA. Many believed he would resign with the Yankees, but the Sox swooped in and grabbed him.
Could Zack Burdi step in to replace Robertson in 2017?
The White Sox will have a decision on what to do with their closer. He did struggle at times, but he has 71 saves over his two seasons with the organization. But the team owes him $25 million over the final two years of his contract.
With Zack Burdi looking like he could inherit the closer role, it may be time to move on. Any team looking for late-inning relief would be interested in Robertson’s services. However, a deal would most likely require the organization to eat a large portion of his remaining salary.
There is no denying Robertson has pitched pretty well for this team. In 2015, he had 34 saves in 60 appearances, while posting a 3.41 ERA. His ERA is high but he does seem to be mostly effective in that role. What the team might consider doing is keeping him around and letting Burdi get his feet wet in the majors. And if the worst should happen and Burdi struggles, at least they have a backup options.
Still, it would seem silly to pay a setup man $12 million. And it’s not like he’s one of the elite guys in the game. His contract is a classic case of a team overpaying for a guy at an important position. Despite this, he does provide some value for the team and it would be tough to justify trading him because there’s no solid replacement. The White Sox may want to wait to see what they have in Burdi before making any deals involving Robertson.