Red Sox should look to add David Robertson

Jun 21, 2016; Boston, MA, USA; Chicago White Sox relief pitcher David Robertson (30) pitches during the ninth inning against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 21, 2016; Boston, MA, USA; Chicago White Sox relief pitcher David Robertson (30) pitches during the ninth inning against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports /

The Red Sox need to strengthen their bullpen at the trade deadline. They should target White Sox reliever David Robertson who is rumored to be available.

As the trade deadline rapidly approaches, the rumor mill is starting to heat up. Red Sox President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski is known for his love of making moves and not being afraid to trade or trade for big named players. I for one don’t think he’s done, nor should he be. It’s time for Dombrowski to pull the trigger on a deal with the Chicago White Sox. No – not for Chris Sale! That one is not going to happen. Boston needs to make a move for reliever David Robertson.

The trade market for a quality starter is going to prove to be too pricey for the taste of the Boston front office. Clearly, Dombrowski saw that issue on the horizon and decided to strike first with the Drew Pomeranz deal – unfortunately, it could be said that he also set the market by sending a top-notch pitching prospect the other way, but that’s debatable.

All year long, it’s been difficult to predict what you’re going to get from the Red Sox pitching staff. An inconsistent starting staff has led to issues with over-use, fatigue and injuries in the bullpen. CSNNE’s Sean McAdam mentioned as far back as early June that the bullpen may be the bigger issue down the stretch than the starting staff.

Craig Kimbrel will be starting his rehab assignment this weekend in Pawtucket, but Koji Uehara is currently on the DL with a pectoral strain and his future is uncertain. John Farrell has chosen to use Junichi Tazawa quite a bit, and we’ve seen that effect Tazawa in the past. Some thought that starter-turned-reliever Joe Kelly could prove to be a big addition to their relief unit, but that idea is still up in the air. The trade for Brad Ziegler proved to be extremely important, and probably the smartest trade Dombrowski has made thus far, but I’m still not confident that they have what it takes in the pen to get to October baseball.

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There are a lot rumors about relief pitchers being discussed with Milwaukee and Kansas City possibly offering up some of their better relievers, but those teams may be asking for a ton back in return. WEEI’s Rob Bradford already mentioned in a column that the Red Sox discussed Wade Davis with the Royals and thought they wanted too much for him. One of the names that is floating around is the White Sox’ David Robertson.

ESPN’s Buster Olney says that Chicago is looking to move Robertson in the midst of a down-year for them because of his contract, and mentions that the Red Sox have shown interest. Robertson is due to make $12 million next year and another $13 million in 2018 ($30 million in all including the rest of this season). But a little money never stopped Boston before. In fact, Dombrowski and company could use that to their advantage in trying to not overpay or give up anymore upper-tier chips from their assets.

Robertson’s ERA has progressively increased over the last three seasons and is now at 4.35, however he also has a chance to have over 30 saves for the third season in a row. The former Yankee has struck out 50 batters and is a consistent, work-horse who would add much needed depth to Boston’s bullpen.

I don’t think that Boston would have to give up any significant prospects in order to get Robertson, unless the chatter about the Nationals inquiring about him is true and the Red Sox find themselves in the midst of a bidding war. They shouldn’t get too crazy in pursuing Robertson, but would a Christian Vazquez/Bryce Brentz combo get it done? I know that giving up on Vazquez now would disappoint Boston fans, but it appears that the team has soured on him a bit. Chicago has another year of Dioner Navarro behind the plate, but Vazquez could fit in there. I just don’t want to see the Red Sox give up any more pitching from anywhere in their organization in order to get a 31 year old reliever with that mammoth contract.

The bottom line is that Dombrowski needs to add to the bullpen, but needs to walk that fine line of not giving up too much and getting duped at the deadline. It appears that the landscape heading in to the weekend is showing that teams are asking for the moon and the stars for any kind of pitching, but we’ll see if that continues once it comes to crunch time on Monday. Robertson looks to be attainable and Boston needs to consider strengthening their relief core heading in to August.