The Yankees’ bullpen had been a strength for the team, but the group struggled in 2020, becoming one of the more surprising elements that led to another early playoff exit for the Bombers.
So, perhaps an old friend could improve that bullpen outlook.
According to a report from MLB Network’s Jon Heyman, the Yankees were among the group of teams that watched veteran David Robertson pitch at the University of Alabama.
“Touched 91, showed the patented curve, and of course in shape,” Heyman said of Robertson.
David Robertson, on the comeback trail, threw for a vast majority of teams (Yankees included) today at the University of Alabama. Touched 91, showed the patented curve, and of course in shape.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) February 11, 2021
The 35-year-old has had two different stints with the Yankees, and is arguably one of the most consistent relievers the club has had to offer in recent memory. In 501 career games with the Yankees, Robertson has pitched to a 2.75 ERA, and while he was primarily a setup man with the Yanks, he did record 53 saves in pinstripes, including 39 in 2014, the season after Mariano Rivera retired.
After signing with the Chicago White Sox as a free agent in 2015, Robertson was traded back to the Yankees in 2017, spending two more seasons with the club.
But the veteran right-hander’s latest free agency venture didn’t pan out. Robertson signed a two-year with the Phillies prior to the 2019 season, but pitched just seven games with the Phils before needing Tommy John surgery. Robertson then suffered a setback in his rehab during the 2020 season, and was immediately shut down.
The Yankees traded Adam Ottavino to the Boston Red Sox earlier this offseason to clear salary cap space after the right-hander struggled in high-leverage spots in 2020.Darren O’Day was signed to bolster the pen, but if the Yankees are looking for another right-handed arm, perhaps Robertson, if healthy, could be exactly what they need.