Bullpen Rumors: Robertson, Cubs, Rays, Tigers, Dodgers

MLB Trade Rumors

Cubs closer David Robertson is among the most popular names on the trade market for relievers, and both New York clubs have interest in bringing him aboard. The Yankees, who’ve enjoyed two separate stints from Robertson in the past, are interested in another reunion with the 37-year-old righty, per Ken Davidoff of the New York Post. Davidoff’s colleague Mike Puma, meanwhile, writes that the Mets are intrigued by Robertson in part because of how effective he’s been against left-handers this season. The Mets don’t have a reliable southpaw option at the moment and there that many quality lefty relievers available, so Robertson’s lack of a platoon split is an understandably appealing trait. FanSided’s Robert Murray writes that the Mets “love” Robertson. The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal wrote yesterday that the Rays were among the teams evaluating the Cubs’ relievers.

Through 39 1/3 innings this season, Robertson has pitched to a 1.83 ERA with 14 saves and a big 31.4% strikeout rate — albeit with a bloated 11.9% walk rate. He’s earning just a $3.5MM base salary, though performance bonuses figure to take that number as high as $5.1MM. The majority of contending clubs figure to check in not only on Robertson but on Cubs righties Mychal Givens and Chris Martin, both of whom are free agents at season’s end. Murray notes that Givens has also been drawing strong interest around the league.

A few more notes on the market for relievers…

  • The Tigers are receiving trade interest on lefty Andrew Chafin and righties Michael Fulmer, Joe Jimenez and Alex Lange, writes Chris McCosky of the Detroit News. McCosky spoke with both Fulmer and Jimenez about the complex emotions of potentially being traded away from the organization they’ve both called home for nearly their entire careers (or, in Jimenez’s case, for his entire pro career). It’s been apparent for some time now that Detroit’s slate of solid bullpen arms would hold major appeal to contending clubs at the deadline, and Fulmer and Chafin seem especially likely to go, given that they’ll both be eligible for free agency at season’s end. (Chafin has a $6.5MM player option.) Jimenez, controlled through 2023, stands a decent chance of being moved as well, but it’d be hard to part with Lange, whom the Tigers can control all the way through 2027. That said, Detroit is reportedly willing to listen on just about anyone, including lefty Tarik Skubal.
  • Dodgers righty Blake Treinen is taking longer to return than originally anticipated, though manager Dave Roberts told reporters that Treinen has not experienced a setback (Twitter link via Juan Toribio of MLB.com). Treinen pitched a bullpen session yesterday but won’t face live hitters for a couple weeks still, which makes a late-August or early-September return likely. Robert said back in May that the organization hoped Treinen, who hasn’t pitched since April due to a shoulder injury, was targeting a return not long after the All-Star break. Treinen is joined on the injured list by Daniel Hudson, Tommy Kahnle, Brusdar Graterol and Victor Gonzalez, so it wouldn’t be surprising at all to see Los Angeles pursue some bullpen upgrades before Tuesday’s trade deadline.

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