NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Yankees have apparently had a thing for David Robertson for quite a long time.
The veteran reliever came up with the Yankees, became an All-Star in pinstripes, and then left via free agency for the Chicago White Sox almost three years ago. The Bombers have reportedly been interested in reacquiring him for some time, which could explain why they had scouts in the stands in Chicago on Sunday, according to FanRagSports.com’s Jon Heyman.
Robertson and teammate Todd Frazier are on New York’s radar with the trade deadline approaching, Heyman reported. The veteran right-hander and slugging infielder would nicely fill two major holes for the Yankees (47-43), who continue to hunt the Red Sox in the AL East and remain right in the mix for one of two wild cards.
New York’s bullpen, which figured to be a major strength coming into the season, has blown 18 saves, with each of Aroldis Chapman, Dellin Betances, and Tyler Clippard suffering through bouts of inconsistency.
The idea of re-injecting a reliever of Robertson’s prowess makes a lot of sense. The 32-year-old right-hander is 4-2 with a 2.70 ERA and 13 saves in 31 appearances in 2017. Over the previous three seasons, including with the Yankees in 2014, he recorded 39, 34, and 37 saves, respectively.
Frazier, too, would be an upgrade, considering the Yankees have gotten little-to-no production this season from the corner infield spots and Frazier can play both positions. Chase Headley has played third base in 78 of New York’s 90 games this season, but has just four homers and 36 RBIs.
Due to a long-term injury to Greg Bird, the Bombers have played, among others, Chris Carter, Tyler Austin, Rob Refsnyder, Ji-Man Choi, and Garrett Cooper at first base, but they’ve been unable to get the job done. Carter was eventually designated for assignment twice and is now out of the organization, and Austin played in just four games before suffering a hamstring strain that could keep him out for a considerable amount of time.
The five have combined to hit .189 with 11 home runs and 33 RBIs, horrible numbers for a power production position.
Though not known for his average, Frazier has never had a problem producing runs, as he drove in 98 with the White Sox in 2016 and 89 the year before with the Cincinnati Reds.
Frazier, a 31-year-old native of Toms River, New Jersey, is batting .207 with 16 homers and 44 RBIs this season, and has 164 homers and 466 RBIs during his seven-year career.