The Houston Astros have spoken to David Robertson's agent, Scott Leventhal, according to Ken Davidoff of the New York Post. Earlier in the offseason, Brian McTaggart of MLB.com reported that the Astros were looking into acquiring a new closer. Also, Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle reported that the Astros are happy to spend this offseason. Combine the two and free-agent closer, Robertson, makes sense. Last season, the Astros bullpen ranked dead last in ERA in all of baseball.
Robertson clearly has the peripherals of an elite closer. Last season, with the New York Yankees, he recorded 39 saves in 44 opportunities. The rightie compiled an ERA of 3.08, but his FIP was a much better 2.68, and his xFIP was an even better 2.13. Lastly, his SIERA was an incredible 1.88. Having taken over the closer duties with such success from the legendary Mariano Rivera, Robertson enters the free-agent market in a prime position. Both Robertson and fellow reliever, Andrew Miller, are hot commodities in the market.
While his numbers are great and his ability is highly desirable, there are some flaws with signing Robertson. The closer is said to be looking a four-year-deal, in the region of $50 million which is crazy money for relief pitching. Secondly, he was offered the qualifying offer from the Yankees, and hence, if the Astros did indeed sign him they would have to surrender a draft pick to the Yankees. That said, both the Astros' first round picks are protected. Only time will tell if the Astros have any desire of paying big money for Robertson.