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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

David Robertson: Next Yankee for Contract Extension?

On Sunday, the New York Yankees and outfielder Brett Gardner agreed to a four-year contract extension worth $50 million, according to Wallace Matthews of ESPNNewYork.com. Yankees’ closer David Robertson could be the next Yankee to get a contract extension.

Succeeding the Yankees’ contract extension to Gardner, they have spent more than $500 million this off-season. They have added numerous players this off-season including Carlos Beltran, Jacoby Ellsbury, Brian McCann and Masahiro Tanaka.

Those players will definitely give the Yankees a chance to win a World Series. There is one other player that could impact the team’s chances of winning a World Series this season; Robertson.

Mariano Rivera was the team’s full-time closer from 1997 to 2013. Succeeding the 2013 season, Rivera officially retired.

Yankees’ manager Joe Girardi said that Rivera’s successor should be Robertson, according to Brendan Kuty of NJ.com. Robertson has achieved some success in the closer’s role.

Last season, Robertson was primarily the Yankees’ set-up man. He would typically pitch in the eighth inning and was very effective.

He finished the season with a 5-1 record with a 2.76 Earned Run Average, ERA, a 1.04 Walks and Hits Per Innings Pitched, WHIP, and struck out 77 hitters in 66.1 Innings. He also recorded three saves in five save opportunities, according to baseball-reference.com.

Yankees’ pitching coach Larry Rothschild told the Associated Press, reported on ESPN.com, that he expects Robertson to be successful as the team’s closer.

He’s been in some huge situations here,” pitching coach Larry Rothschild said. “He’s been around Mo (or Mariano Rivera). He’s in a good position to know what he has to do. He’s done everything that you could ask him to do to this point to become a closer. Now it’s just a matter of executing the pitches. Unless he gets overwhelmed by the situation, I don’t anticipate major problems.”

Robertson has pitched in plenty of ‘huge’ situations throughout his career.

According to baseball-reference.com, he has pitched in 135-save situations in his six-year career. This includes 38-save situations last year.

Despite these ‘high’ pressure situations, he only gave up 15 earned runs in allowed 69 opposing hitters to reach base in 66.1 Innings. He also only allowed six of the 12 runners he inherited from the preceding pitcher to score, according to baseball-reference.com.

Those statistics indicate that Robertson can be very successful as the team’s closer this season. Despite his success as a reliever and fill-in closer, Robertson only received a one-year contract this off-season, as aforementioned.

Gardner definitely deserve some long-term security after numerous speculation he would be traded during the off-season. The next player that has a chance to earn long-term security is Robertson.

It does not appear that the Yankees will be giving him long-term security in the near future, according to Kuty.

The Yankees have had ‘no talks’ with David Robertson about extending his contract, general manger Brian Cashman said Sunday.

Would we be opposed to it?’ he said. ‘We’ll see.'”

Robertson will turn 29-years-old on Apr. 9th, according to his ESPN.com player profile. He will earn $5.215 million in his final season of arbitration eligibility, according to Jeff Todd of MLBTradeRumors.com.

If he excels this season,  he could be a ‘hot’ commodity next off-season. Todd reported that “(Robertson could) hit the market at age (29), and with another strong season (he) could be in line for a sizeable new contract.”

Based on the statistics above, there is a very good chance that he has a ‘strong’ season. It is not a guarantee that he will have a strong season.

Not all first-time closers have excelled in the closing role.

From June 16, 2008 to the end of that season, Fernando Rodney accumulated 13 saves with the Detroit Tigers, according to baseball-reference.com. The following season, he was the Tigers’ full-time closer.

Rodney struggled as the team’s full-time closer in 2009. He had a 2-5 record with a 4.40 ERA, 1.47 WHIP and he struck out 61 batters in 75.2 Innings, according to baseball-reference.com.

It is unknown what a ‘sizeable’ new contract would be for Robertson, but it would probably be at least $7 million per season.

The Steinbrenners, currently Hal Steinbrenner is the Yankees’ principal owner, have shown that they do not have a problem spending money; as evidenced by the Yankees’ offseason spending. Time will tell if the team’s approach to giving Robertson a potential contract extension was a wise choice.

Should the New York Yankees give David Robertson a contract extension?

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For more information on Brett Gardner’s contract extension, check out Gavin Ewbank’s article: http://empirewritesback.com/2014/02/23/yankees-brett-gardner-agree-four-year-extension/

Tags: David Robertson

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