The New York Yankees and right-handed reliever David Robertson avoided arbitration Friday when Robertson and New York agreed to a one-year, $3.1 million deal for the 2013 season. Robertson spent part of the 2012 year injured after being thrown into the closer role in place of Mariano Rivera, who tore his ACL shagging fly balls during batting practice early last season.
Robertson recorded two saves in his time in that role. He played in 65 games striking out 81 batters and recording a 2.67 ERA, slightly higher than his 2011 ERA of 1.08 in 70 games. Robertson was once destined to be the closer of the Yankees and could get more chances if Rivera falters at some point this season. New York does not have any other viable option at that position other than Robertson after losing Rafael Soriano to the Washington Nationals in free agency.
The Yankees counted Robertson’s original demand of $3.55 million with $2.85, but the two sides agreed to a $3.1 million compromise. The righty is still on track to hit the free agent mark after the 2014 season. If he continues to be a reliable setup man for New York, some team would definitely jump at the opportunity to make him a closer.
With Robertson signed, the Yankees now have agreed to arbitration deals with all five players that are eligible. In total the Yankees spent $16.250 million in arbitration eligible players this season with Phil Hughes receiving the most amount at $7.150 million.
The Yankees will have a tough road ahead of them this season with Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez likely out of the lineup come opening day. It will be an interesting year for them in 2013.