Yankees could bring back former bullpen arm at the trade deadline

david robertson, cubs, yankees

The New York Yankees demolished the Chicago Cubs on Saturday evening thanks to solo home runs from Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Glyber Torres, Jose Trevino, and Anthony Rizzo. The Bombers had a total of six homers on the evening, recording 11 total hits and eight RBIs.

After a more difficult series against the Minnesota Twins, the Yankees are right back on track against a struggling Cubs team. Having won 10 of their last 11 games, the Yankees host the top spot in the AL East by 8.5 games and sit five games above the New York Mets in all of baseball.

The Yankees feature a .729 winning percentage and +113 run differential. However, general manager Brian Cashman will likely be active at the trade deadline to help inject more talent into a roster that has World Series aspirations.

Per Jon Heyman of the New York Post, the bullpen market will be a place the Yankees look for support:

The Yankees are planning to look for bullpen help. They will be far from alone. Top relievers who could be available include David Bednar, Michael Fulmer, and former Yankees Mark Melancon, Ian Kennedy and David Robertson. … The Yankees told Miguel Andjuar that though they’ve tried to trade him. the offers haven’t been good enough.

Here’s a cheap option the New York Yankees should target at the deadline:

One option the Yankees should seriously consider is former relief pitcher David Robertson. Robertson spent the first seven years of his career with the Yankees, making a short pitstop with the Chicago White Sox before coming back to the Bronx. Since then, he has featured with Philadelphia, Tampa Bay, and Chicago this season.

At 37 years old, Robertson is undoubtedly at the tail end of his career, but he’s having one of his best seasons to date. Over 22.2 innings pitched, Robertson features a 1.59 ERA, 12.71 strikeouts per nine, and a lowly 0.40 home runs per nine rate. His 87.4% left on base rate is the best since 2017.

Robertson has changed his pitch sequence entirely, reallocating his four-seam fastball to a lethal cutter which he’s thrown 53.2% this year. He has also incorporated a slider at 23% and a curveball at 23.8%. His cutter hovers around 93 mph, which still features solid velocity, even landing 1 mph higher than his career average with his four-seam.

Interestingly, Robertson’s slider has been lethal this year. He has not given up a single base hit when throwing a slider, and batters are hitting just .103 against his curveball. His cutter is a bit more hittable at .243 but is still generating a 20.3% whiff rate.

The veteran relief arm has reinvented himself during the latter portion of his career. He has dabbled with a sinker in the past, so if the Yankees brought him back to New York, they may try to add that pitch back to his repertoire, which could give him even more longevity.

With Chicago struggling considerably this season, the Yankees would have to give up next to nothing to get Robertson back, which makes a prospective trade even more enticing.