News & Rumours

Report: Blue Jays Have Discussed David Robertson With White Sox

The Blue Jays have reportedly shown some interest in one of the more attractive relievers on the trade market.

Chris Sweda - Chicago Tribune

With the recent additions of Jose Bautista and Jarrod Saltalamacchia, the Blue Jays’ bullpen is now the team’s top priority. The current core consists of Roberto OsunaJason GrilliJoe Biagini, and presumably Gavin Floyd. The team still needs a left-handed option, though it could also use reinforcements from the right side. Per Nick Cafardo, the Jays may have their sights set on a new 8th inning man.

8. David Robertson, RHP, White Sox — Robertson is more than available, but the White Sox want a good haul for him. At worst, the White Sox believe Robertson will have a lot of value at the trade deadline, or if a team’s closer goes down. The White Sox and Blue Jays have had discussions this offseason, and the Yankees have at least thought about it, but New York is unwilling to give up the quality prospects the White Sox want. At some point, Robertson will be in greater demand

Robertson has been a consistently solid reliever over the past eight seasons. A product of the Yankees farm system, the White Sox’s closer posted an ERA of 3.47 in 2016, to go along with a 3.58 FIP. Those numbers are not indicative of an elite reliever, but Robertson does have a better track record than any of Toronto’s internal options. He would fit in nicely as Osuna’s set-up man.

While Robertson would be a good fit, he would also be expensive to acquire. Robertson is under control for the next two seasons, and his contract is worth $25M over that period. The Jays presumably do not have $12M to spend on a reliever at this point in the off-season. It is also worth remembering the impressive returns that the White Sox received for Chris Sale and Adam Eaton.

If the Jays were to acquire Robertson, then they would likely look for the White Sox to eat some of his contract. However, that would require even more prospects to be traded to Chicago. While Robertson would make the Jays’ bullpen significantly stronger, it would be surprising to see these talks develop into anything serious.

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