SAN DIEGO (CBSNewYork/AP) — David Robertson is leaving the New York Yankees after one season as closer, agreeing to a $46 million, four-year contract with the Chicago White Sox, two people familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press.
The people spoke on condition of anonymity Monday night because the agreement had not been announced.
Chicago also acquired starter Jeff Samardzija in a trade from the Oakland Athletics, according to WFAN and CBSSports.com baseball insider Jon Heyman. Samardzija had pitched for the crosstown Cubs before he was traded to the Athletics in July.
A right-hander who turns 30 in April, Robertson had spent his seven-year big league career with the New York Yankees. He took over from Mariano Rivera as New York’s closer last season and saved 39 games in 44 chances.
New York had prepared for the possibility of Robertson’s departure by agreeing last week to a $36 million, four-year contract with left-hander Andrew Miller, who joins Dellin Betances in the back end of the Yankees’ bullpen.
“I would have absolutely zero qualms about him being in the mix,” Miller said during a conference call Monday. “Whatever it takes for us to win is what I’m on board with.”
New York’s offer was for far less than Chicago’s, another person familiar with the talks said. That person spoke on condition of anonymity because the amount was not revealed.
Robertson’s deal has an average salary of $11.5 million, falling $1 million below the average of Jonathan Papelbon’s four-year deal with Philadelphia that began in 2012.
Robertson will be joining a team that finished fourth in the AL Central at 70-92, one whose saves leader was rookie Jake Petricka with 14.
The agreement with Robertson stunned at least one of Robertson’s new teammates. Outfielder Adam Eaton tweeted the message “Wow,” along with a photo of Sesame Street’s Bert with the caption “mind blown.”
Because the White Sox had among the top 10 initial picks in next year’s amateur draft, they lose a second-round selection next June rather than their first-round choice, which is eighth overall. The Yankees receive an extra pick between the first and second rounds.
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