David Robertson Says He'd Be Open to a Reunion with the Cubs - But Would the Cubs?

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David Robertson Says He’d Be Open to a Reunion with the Cubs – But Would the Cubs?

Chicago Cubs

I think sometimes about how it was that the Chicago Cubs signed David Robertson last offseason.

The 37-year-old righty had only been back in action for a little while in late 2021, post-Tommy John surgery, but the stuff he was showing was compelling. He was clearly the type of veteran reliever the Cubs have liked to target in the current era, so it made a lot of sense for Jed Hoyer to pursue him. Thing was, Robertson doesn’t have an agent. He represents himself. And – with apologies I cannot find the link – I remember him describing the signing as something like, Jed just kept offering me more money until I finally said yes.

The deal at the time was for one year and $3.5 million, with another $1.5 million in incentives. The way Robertson described the signing speaks, I think, to a positive relationship there on the negotiating side of things, and maybe leaves more open the possibility of a reunion than most. Though Jed would probably have to offer quite a bit more money this time around to get Robertson to finally say yes.

But Robertson is open to it:

I think we all know that the midseason trade to the Phillies had everything to do with a typical sell-off, rather than the Cubs having any issue with Robertson. So, does a reunion make sense from the Cubs’ perspective?

Well, setting aside the expected contract for a moment … of course it does!

We know the Cubs are loaded with young relief options heading into 2023, but we also know that they will always try to add some impact from veteran free agents in the bullpen, and we also also know that they clearly worked well together with Robertson.

Though he’ll turn 38 in April, Robertson seemed right there last season with his velocity and the movement on his pitches. Decline will come, of course, but it’s not like we haven’t seen plenty of relievers hold their stuff as they approach 40.

That said, Robertson may rightly be looking at this moment as his last opportunity to secure a big-ish deal (two years and, what, $8 to $10 million per?), and I don’t think the Cubs are going to go there. Maybe if Robertson finds that the market is more dubious about his 2022 performance (the ERA was great, but the peripherals suggested something closer to a 3.00 ERA would’ve been deserved, and the 13.3% walk rate was certainly way higher than it was in his best seasons). Maybe he was happy enough with the Cubs that he comes back on a more incentive-laden deal. You never know. Like Robertson, I think the Cubs would be open to a reunion.

I just wouldn’t bet on the money working out, as the Cubs will probably try to find the next Robertson … and Chris Martin and Mychal Givens, all of whom were quality veterans who signed one-year deals in a similar price range. The Cubs just might be really good at targeting that part of the market.


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Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.