White Sox: Could Lackluster Supporting Cast Hurt Robertson’s Trade Value?
Could trade value for veteran White Sox closer suffer due to lackluster support? The closer has been mentioned in many trade rumors over the offseason.
With the Chicago White Sox undergoing a major rebuild, an overhaul of more personal is likely in the near future. One of those players could be David Robertson, who is the teams’ highly paid closer ($25 million over the next two seasons) that could bring back a solid return. However, there is a potential concern with dealing him, that being the level of talent around him in the pen. Will Robertson have enough chances to elevate his trade value come July?
Here is a secondary concern in regards to Robertson, that being an offseason knee surgery this past October. He will first have to prove his injury will not linger down the stretch, which could hurt his trade value. The key to doing this for Robertson will be continually getting on the mound, which could be difficult with his supporting cast in the Sox pen.
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Speaking of his supporting cast, it is very average for the most part. While the hard throwing Nate Jones will man the eighth, others such as Dan Jennings, Jake Petricka, and Zach Putnam could be held responsible with helping get the ball to Robertson. That is a scary proposition, due to the fact none of these pitchers are elite, except when Jones is on.
Another serious concern is a lack of a true left-handed specialist. Regardless of the fact righties can retire lefties as well, when Dan Jennings is your most proven lefty, there is a major problem. While Jennings career ERA sits at 2.74, keep in mind he struggles with control, indicated by his 96 walks in 217 MLB innings.
Reverting back to the righties in charge of the late-innings, none of them are exactly All-Star caliber. Jones is likely the closest to elite, however he has already had one major arm injury (Tommy John Surgery in 2014). Petricka and Putnam also had season-ending injuries in 2016, not to mention they have nowhere near the 100 MPH fastball that Jones does.
So, who else could chip in if the key arms don’t come through? Dylan Covey is a name to keep an eye on, who the club picked up in the Rule Five Draft this past December. Young arms such as Chris Beck and Michael Ynoa are other options, who could be making a final run at the big leagues in 2017.
All in all, getting an optimal return for Robertson means putting him in a position to succeed as much as possible. With Petricka and Putnam helping get the ball to him that could be dicey, considering neither have a career ERA under three. Even though more save chances means he could also fail, not getting Robertson to the hill period would be catastrophic for his trade value.
Next: Jose Quintana Nearly Unhittable in WBC Start
While every team wants a big return on their players, keep in mind the many factors that go into it, Sox fans. And prepare for some possible disappointments.