Yankees part ways with David Robertson

Brian McCann and David Robertson (Image: Al Bello/Getty Images)
Brian McCann and David Robertson (Image: Al Bello/Getty Images)

For the second year in a row, the New York Yankees will begin the season with a new closer in the bullpen.

News broke Monday night of All-Star reliever David Robertson agreeing to a 4-year, $46 million deal with the Chicago White Sox (Nightengale, Dec. 8th).


This was a no-brainer for the White Sox, addressing the bullpen was an area of concern for them this winter. Last month they signed Zach Duke to a three-year deal, he’ll most likely be Robertson’s setup man. Chicago also traded for starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija on Monday, ensuring their team as making the biggest splash on the first day of the winter meetings.

What’s left for the Yankees is a major question mark in their bullpen. Robertson saved 39 games in 2014 for the Yankees, admirably replacing the great Mariano Rivera as the team’s closer. However, all isn’t lost for the Yankees here. They’ve already added free agent reliever Andrew Miller, he’ll  join youngster Dellin Betances in the bullpen.

The idea of a Miller-Robertson-Betances bullpen was a good thought to entertain, however Robertson did enough in 2014 to show everyone he’s a top closer, expecting him to step back for Betances was not realistic.

Another way to look at this is Robertson’s price tag just may have been too steep for the Yankees, especially after committing to Miller for $36 million over four years. I’m all for having a strong bullpen, especially for the Yankees, however Miller and Betances could prove to be successful with the more traditional 1-2 punch in the 8th and 9th innings.

It would appear that the Yankees are, at the very least, intrigued with the idea of Betances as their closer. He made the All-Star team in 2014 setting up for Robertson, his arm is live and electric.

With the money saved from letting Robertson walk, the Yankees have options. They could go after a another reliever, preferably cheaper, with experience closing games. The juicy option would be if general manager Brian Cashman decides to address his highly questionable starting rotation by pursuing free agent starting pitcher Max Scherzer.

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Giancarlo Stanton, the Miami Marlins, and a $325 million apology

Giancarlo Stanton - (Image: Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
Giancarlo Stanton – (Image: Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

The Miami Marlins agreed to terms with Giancarlo Stanton on a $325 million, 13-year contract, it’s the most lucrative deal for an American athlete in history. The deal averages out to $25 million per season, a no-trade clause, and an opt out for Stanton after six years.

Stanton is the real deal, 25 years old, and arguably Major League Baseball’s most feared hitter. He doesn’t just hit home runs, he hits them far. Stanton has more 450-foot home runs than any player in baseball over the last five seasons.

Signing Stanton to such a lucrative deal puts Miami at the top of the baseball headlines. The Marlins have drawn criticism for how the team’s ownership has handled payroll in the past. They splurged on big-money free agents a couple of years ago, hoping it would help fill their new state of the art ballpark that the public helped pay for. They then changed course after one bad season by slashing payroll so aggressively it turned their fan base against them.

Miami needs Giancarlo Stanton to continue launching baseballs far beyond the fences of Marlins Park. Signing Stanton to a long-term deal is just as much about business off the field for the Marlins as it is on it. It’s another high-priced apology by a team to its fan base, $325 million to be exact.

Stanton can’t be blamed for taking Miami’s money, Major League Baseball does this every year it seems. Alex Rodriguez, Robinson Cano, Miguel Cabrera, Albert Pujols — all of these players have received  big-money deals from teams obsessed with capitalizing on the present, however gambling on the future.

In Stanton’s case, his 2014 season ended abruptly on September 11th when he was hit in the face by a pitch. It can’t be ignored the possibility of Stanton seeing that as a reminder of how fragile a professional athlete’s career can be, it can be over in one play.

There’s also the opt-out clause in the deal for Stanton, he’ll be entering his 30’s around that time. If the Marlins are not holding up their end of a the deal as far as fielding a competitive team, Stanton can always look to take his talents away from South Beach to another team with deep pockets, perhaps the Yankees.

While many will debate if Stanton’s worth the money, or if the Marlins will surround him with enough talent to compete in the years going forward, both sides have agreed to this deal for reasons far beyond just baseball.

Anthony Rushing | @AnthonyRushing_



The best apology Alex Rodriguez can give us is no more apologies

Alex Rodriguez - (Image: Michael Heiman/Getty Images)
Alex Rodriguez – (Image: Michael Heiman/Getty Images)

There’s nothing left for Alex Rodriguez except to just go out and play baseball. There’s no need to apologize again for his involvement with performance-enhancing drugs.Whatever credibility Rodriguez had remaining left a long time ago. When the New York Yankees take the field in 2015 with Rodriguez penciled into the lineup, he should just  be quiet and play the game.

Alex Rodriguez needs to ask himself this one question — was it worth it?

Rodriguez was recently reinstated to the Yankees’ active roster after serving a 162-game suspension. It didn’t take long for reports to surface again linking Rodriguez to PEDS. The Miami Herald  reported that Rodriguez admitted to the use of of performance-enhancing drugs during a meeting with the Drug Enforcement Agency in January.

Rodriguez was stopping for microphones, cameras, and anyone with a platform for him to stand on. He strongly denied any wrongdoing he was accused of. However, he was apparently hiding details of how he injected HGH into his stomach while also learning how to beat Major League Baseball’s urine test.

This all comes on the heels of a court-filing disclosure that Rodriguez paid his cousin Yuri Sucart nearly $1 million in exchange for Sucart’s silence regarding Rodriguez’s illegal PED use.

Rodriguez  put himself in this position. Nothing he’s ever said about his professional baseball career can be taken as truth. For all we know, he’s been cheating the game ever since his early playing days in Seattle.

The reality of it all is that he’ll still get to play baseball in 2015, and at the moment there isn’t anything the Yankees or Major League Baseball can do about it.

All the reports out now only confirm what the world already thought of Alex Rodriguez. He’s a liar and cheater, however, he’s also served his punishment already.

It’s not his  fault the Yankees owe him $61 million over the next three years. Like many of us, the Yankees drank the kool aid every time Rodriguez hit a baseball over the wall, bringing him closer to the all-time home run record. Now there stuck with a declining 40-year old third baseman who’s become a story for all the wrong reasons.

Nothing Rodriguez can say will make any of this better for him, the damage is done. Apologizing again will do nothing but further insult his peers and supporters. Rodriguez isn’t sorry for using PEDS or lying to the world about it, he’s sorry he was caught.

However, if Rodriguez truly wants to hear cheers again, if he truly wants to win the crowd —  he’ll go out there in 2015 and hit home runs. The case can be made the Yankees will take whatever they can get out of him until a better alternative comes around.

The very same game that’s contributed to the downfall of Rodriguez will also serve as his only method of redemption. His actions on the field are now all that matters, because his words off the field  to many will never matter again.

Anthony Rushing | @AnthonyRushing_