It seems like every time the Yankees lose a player during their free agency, fans get all up in arms about it. Usually the reaction is anger, followed by a resounding "good riddance." This is especially true if a player was someone who came up through the farm system.
Some times, I get it. Robinson Cano, for example. I loved Cano as a Yankee. I watched him play in Staten Island years back. I cheered him on, and really enjoyed watching him succeed in the Bronx. And then came free agency, the Mariners, and a 10 year $240 million contract and lots of anger. Believe me, I was one of the fans heart broken and angry over this. This signing was clearly financially driven. I get it, a player wants to get paid their worth, so they sell their talents to the highest bidder. But 10 years and $240 million? It was ridiculous! Clearly a greed driven move. But, this isn't the case for every player.
Last week David Robertson signed with the Chicago White Sox. The Yankees gave him a one year $15.3 million qualifying offer, which he turned down. The Yankees then went on ahead and signed Andrew Miller, and never once looked in Robertson's direction again. They never even gave him an offer. The New York Times reported that Robertson "Wasn't surprised" that the Yankees didn't approach him. "It is a business, and the Yankees had to do what they had to do. Obviously when they signed Miller, I kind of had a feeling they might not approach us as well as we would have liked."
Robertson has stated that he is excited to play for the White Sox. I get it. They wanted him enough to make him an offer and that is where he plays now. Is he supposed to be sobbing in the corner over the loss of his Yankees pinstripes? He's got a job. Like Robertson said, this is a business and at the end of the day, he's going to perform for the team that made the effort to sign him.
I feel like we always go through this. Just last year I wrote a piece just like this about Curtis Granderson. Then, just like with Robertson now, Granderson said he was excited about playing with the Mets. Back then I wrote "He obviously liked being a Yankee. But as a new member of the team, he had to say something to endear him to a new set of fans." With Granderson, much like with Robertson now, it was a PR move. You can't go into a new season, with a new team stating that you hate them. Fans are passionate. If he plans on making his stay easy for himself, and his family, he's going to do and say whatever it takes to get in the fans good graces.
I understand the frustration from the fans. Really, I get it. But the anger in this case is incredibly misplaced. Robertson's contract of 4 yr/$46 million doesn't say "I ran for the money." It says "I really want to pitch in a game, so I took an offer." You can't lump him into the same category as Cano. The dollar signs don't match. Again, the Yankees didn't make him an offer. How long was he supposed to wait? Until the season started and he was unemployed? The Yankees owed him better. They dropped the ball with Robertson. Like Jeana Bellezza said "Hal and Hank Steinbrenner are the puppet masters."
I won't begrudge Robertson his success. I hope he has an incredible next few years with the White Sox. I'll be watching him play this year, and cheering him on. Best of luck, DRob! BYB has got your back!
--Erica Morales BYB Senior Writer
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