Yankees still interested in David Robertson
The New York Yankees have had a love affair with David Robertson on a couple of occasions, and that flame may still be burning. The New York Yankee scouts were in attendance at the University of Alabama when Robertson put on a pitching show for several teams, including the Yankees. John Heyman, an insider for MLB Network and regularly contributes to WFAN, and Entercom Radio had this to say about the showcase on his Twitter account:
Former All-Star setup man David Robertson looked good while throwing a showcase yesterday at the University of Alabama, and unsurprisingly, the Yankees were one of many teams in attendance. Any potential contract he’d sign would be low-stakes because he’s in his mid-thirties and hasn’t pitched since April 14, 2019, due to an injured UCL that required Tommy John surgery. The Yankees reacquired the curveball specialist once before joining the memorable 2017 club at the trade deadline after walking away as a free agent in 2014; could another reunion be on the horizon?
Robertson started his career with the New York Yankees in 2008, and for the next seven years, compiled a 33-22 record with an ERA of 2.75. Most of that time, he was the setup man for Mariano Rivera. When Rivera retired, Robertson became the Yankees closer in 2014. He was 4–5 and compiled a 3.08 ERA, was successful on 39 (3rd in the AL) out of 44 save attempts, and struck out 96 batters in 64 1⁄3 innings, averaging 13.4 strikeouts per nine innings. Following that season, he became a free agent after the Yankees declined his $15.3 million option—Robertson went to the White Sox.
The New York Yankees came calling as it looked like they would reach the 2017 postseason. From the trade deadline, David pitched in 30 games for the Yankees and was absolutely brilliant. He went 5-0 with an ERA unheard of, just 1.03. The Yankees think they have the best chance in years to get to a World Series this season. Will they again decide if they need Robertson to get there. Only time will tell, but there is no news that they had engaged with him or his agent, but it’s obvious they are at least considering a reunion with attending this pitching demonstration.
Will Luis Gil be a stud for the Yankees?
Luis Gil has been a New York Yankee prospect since 2015. Although he has never gotten as far as Triple-A Scranton, he has continually advanced in the Yankee minor league system. The 22-year-old Dominican is ready to grow into the majors in the next few years.
A Major League scout who sees many of the Yankees’ farm teams distinctly remembers his trip to South Carolina in 2019. He was there for a few days to check in on the Charleston RiverDogs, then the Yanks’ Low-A South Atlantic League affiliate. The scout thinks Gil is a pitcher to watch. He watched Gil start a game during his trip.
The scout who did not wish to be named said the pitches are there – he throws smoke touching 100 mph, his curve is a good one, and he has the makings of a decent changeup – but I don’t know if he’s going to be able to command his stuff for five or six innings once every five days. I see him as a reliever, setup man, or even a closer. He reiterated that he really likes Gil a lot.
Gil, who turns 23 on June 3, probably will begin 2021 with the Double-A Somerset Patriots, the team that is replacing the Trenton Thunder, but pitching his way to Triple-A or even at Yankee Stadium before the season ends isn’t farfetched. Gil’s career took off after he joined the Yankees’ organization. That’s when his fastball average jumped from the mid-90s to the high-90s, which led to impressive numbers. In 2018, he pitched to a 1.96 ERA with 68 strikeouts over 46 innings in 12 starts for rookie-level Pulaski and short-season A Staten Island.
He posted a 2.39 ERA the next year with 112 Ks in 83 innings over 20 starts, the first 17 with Charleston and then three with high-A Tampa. There was no 2020 minor league season, but Gil did pitch in the Dominican Republic’s winter games.
Other teams interested in Brett Gardner
Outfielder Brett Gardner still feels great and will not retire in 2021. According to reports, the New York Yankees have not engaged with the 12-year veteran or his agent. But the ever-popular Yankee has made it clear he wants to play somewhere this season.
Gardner’s last formal contact with the Yankees was when they refused his 2021 $10 million option and paid him $2.5 million to get out of that option for the 2021 season. The Yankees may still negotiate with him; if you recall, they waited until the last minute last season to sign him up for 2020. Gardner has always said he wants to retire a Yankee, but that is up to the Yankee front office.
He is just one season removed from the 2019 campaign when he blasted a career-best 28 home runs and 74 RBI while stealing double-digit bases for the seventh straight season. His versatility has stood out throughout his career as someone who can hit for decent power, play solid outfield defense and be a menace to opposing pitching staffs when he is on the basepaths. His durability has also been important for the Yankees, as he played at least 140 games every year from 2013 to 2019.
Gardner was an All-Star in 2015 and Gold Glover in 2016. He also helped lead the Yankees to a World Series title in 2009, although he hit just .154 in those playoffs. Randy Miller of NJ.com has verified that the Yankees have not engaged with him and that other teams are interested in the veteran’s services.