Getty Images

White Sox and Nationals discussing a possible David Robertson trade

25 Comments

Ken Rosenthal reports the Nationals are talking to the White Sox about closer David Robertson.

Man, it’s as if they have no faith in Joe Nathan. And as if they’ve lost Jonathan Papelbon‘s phone number. Sad.

Seriously, though, the Nats could use a closer having watched Mark Melancon leave via free agency, and Robertson is probably the best one who could be had. The issue, of course, is that the White Sox promised him a lot of money when they signed him and he’s still owed $25 million over the next two seasons. As for last season, Robertson posted a 3.47 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 75/32 in 62.1 innings while notching 37 saves. He’d probably do a heck of a lot better pitching in the NL — a change of scenery away from the South Side of Chicago can do any pitcher good — and, of course, he is a Proven Closer.™ But he’s nowhere near as good now as he was when he was setting up for the Yankees and that contract is a lot to take on for a reliever.

The Nats haven’t done a ton this winter. And they may not really have to in order to win the NL East, but this is probably one worth watching.

Joe Girardi won’t use Masahiro Tanaka in Game 7

Getty Images
1 Comment

The Yankees and Astros are set for Game 7 of the American League Championship Series on Saturday, and neither team will hold back as they seek a World Series berth. The Astros are prepared to back starter Charlie Morton with any able-bodied pitcher in their ranks — including Justin Verlander, though A.J. Hinch said it would be a “dream scenario” to get anything more from his ace — while the Yankees are prepared to utilize all but a few of their arms. One pitcher you won’t see? Right-hander Masahiro Tanaka, who last took the hill for the Yankees during their Game 5 shutout on Wednesday.

Tanaka expended 103 pitches over seven scoreless innings in his last start, fending off the Astros with three hits, a walk and eight strikeouts. He hasn’t pitched on fewer than three days of rest all year, and even with a do-or-die scenario facing the Yankees on Saturday night, manager Joe Girardi doesn’t want to compromise his starter’s ability to stay rested and ready for the World Series.

Girardi will also play it safe with fellow right-hander Sonny Gray, who dominated in a five-inning performance in Game 4. All other pitchers should be available and ready to go, though the club is hoping for a lengthy outing from veteran starter CC Sabathia. Sabathia is no stranger to the postseason: over eight separate playoff runs, he touts one championship title and a collective 4.24 ERA in 123 innings. He held the Astros scoreless in his Game 3 start, blanking them over six innings on three hits, four walks and five strikeouts for an eventual 8-1 win.

Even without Tanaka or Gray likely to take the mound for Game 7, the Yankees will enter the series finale with history on their side. Per MLB.com, they have a 4-3 road record in Game 7s and are 6-7 in all 13 Game 7 finales to date. The Astros, on the other hand, dropped their first and only Game 7 clincher back in 2004, when the Cardinals capped the NLCS with a 5-2 win in St. Louis. The teams are scheduled to face off for the first-ever Game 7 at Minute Maid Park on Saturday at 8:00 PM ET.