The New York Yankees and Chicago White Sox are still trying to work out a formula that lands Jose Quintana in the Bronx. The Pittsburgh Pirates are also involved, and suddenly the name of relief pitcher David Robertson has come as someone who might help the deal get done.
A quick note about the Pirates: They’re were looking for another veteran pitcher, and just signed Ivan Nova, who used to play for the Yankees, but was traded to Pittsburgh and did very well there in a short amount of time. He landed a three-year, $26 million not including incentives, showing loyalty to the team that helped his career bounce back. This doesn’t take them off the Quintana train, but it does mean they’re a little bit less desperate than before.
However, right now it looks like the Yankees are the most serious party. They’ve been trying to work out a deal to land Quintana and finally give themselves a reliable rotation arm that will stay beyond the 2017 season. Perhaps landing Robertson, who was a Yankees player from 2008 to 2014 and had his worst season since 2009 last year, can help them reach some understanding with the ChiSox, who don’t seem to be in a rush after already moving Chris Sale and Adam Eaton.
Landing Robertson would give the Yankees an interesting relief crew including Aroldis Chapman and Dellin Betances. They could flip Robertson or move Betances as the next part of this complicated deal, but maybe the Yankees could give themselves an expensive boost to their pitching staff altogether. It’ll be expensive because of the talent they’d have to let go, and the costs of the contracts: Quintana is owed $15.5 million over the next two seasons and then two more team option years, Robertson is owed $25 million over the next two years, a contract the White Sox would love to get rid of. If the Yankees do make the trade, it could help them lower the prospect payment, or simply get the White Sox to pay some of the salary.
Quintana is almost 28, and coming off his first All-Star season. He posted a 3.20 ERA last season and a 1.163 WHIP, both career bests. Robertson saved 37 times in 62.1 innings, posting a 3.47 ERA and 1.364 WHIP, greatly declining when it comes to his KO/BB ratio, finishing with just 2.34 after a 6.62 season in 2015.