David Robertson has been fantastic taking over for Mariano Rivera as the Yankees’ closer, converting 31-of-33 save chances with a 2.62 ERA, .191 opponents’ batting average, and 71 strikeouts in 45 innings.
None of which should be a surprise, because for five seasons Robertson was one of the elite setup men in baseball. However, with free agency right around the corner this offseason it’s definitely ideal timing for Robertson, who looks set to cash in big on the open market at age 29.
He might end up re-signing with the Yankees, but it’ll cost them a whole lot more than it would have six months ago when Robertson was apparently willing to give them a hometown discount. Here’s what he recently told George King of the New York Post:
I thought the calls would come but at this point right now I am going to wait and see how the season plays out. It would have to be a legit offer at this point of the year. This offseason I probably would have gone for a discount, although I wasn’t a closer.
New York has another stud setup man in Dellin Betances, but it’ll be interesting to see if the Yankees outbid everyone else to keep Robertson at a premium price tag.
On Sunday, we learned that while the Nationals would continue to pay their minor leaguers throughout the month of June, their weekly stipend would be lowered by 25 percent, from $400 to $300. In an incredible act of solidarity, Nationals reliever Sean Doolittle and his teammates put out a statement, saying they would be covering the missing $100 from the stipends.
After receiving some criticism, the Nationals reversed course, agreeing to pay their minor leaguers their full $400 weekly stipend.
Doolittle and co. have not withdrawn their generosity. On Wednesday, Doolittle released another statement, saying that he and his major league teammates would continue to offer financial assistance to Nationals minor leaguers through the non-profit organization More Than Baseball.
The full statement:
Washington Nationals players were excited to learn that our minor leaguers will continue receiving their full stipends. We are grateful that efforts have been made to restore their pay during these challenging times.
We remain committed to supporting them. Nationals players are partnering with More Than Baseball to contribute funds that will offer further assistance and financial support to any minor leaguers who were in the Nationals organization as of March 1.
We’ll continue to stand with them as we look forward to resuming our 2020 MLB season.
Kudos to Doolittle and the other Nationals continuing to offer a helping hand in a trying time. The players shouldn’t have to subsidize their employers’ labor expenses, but that is the world we live in today.