Count me among the delighted that the Tigers locked-up Nate Robertson for three more years at $21.25 million. I’ve been a fan of Robertson’s since day one and think the Tigers were wise to secure an essential member of the rotation.
(If you want to find someone who isn’t a big Nate fan, look no further than…here.)
Last fall I spoke to Lynn Henning of the Detroit News and asked him what Robertson’s long-term prospects were with the Tigers. (Mind you, this was just after Jair Jurrjens was sent to Atlanta for Edgar Renteria but before the big trade with the Marlins. I thought Robertson could be dangled in an offseason deal.)
My question to Henning: “Is Robertson, Tough Luck Nate I call him, a Tiger next year?”
Lynn Henning: Oh, I think heâ€™s definitely a Tiger for next year because he would rank right now as their number-five starter, and probably if heâ€™s your soft spot in rotation, you can live with that any year.
He is Tough Luck Nate. I think the Tigers are a little concerned that Nate has almost resigned to that being his status and pitches in a manner consistent with being a tough-luck guy. I donâ€™t think thatâ€™s necessarily fair to Nate Robertson, but it would sure help if whatever it took heâ€™d win those games instead of losing those tight games. And that just doesnâ€™t seem to be his fate. But I certainly donâ€™t see them trading him at all.
MMc: Well, Iâ€™m a fan of his, so Iâ€™m glad to hear that.
LH: Yeah, heâ€™s 200 innings, and thatâ€™s what counts. He gives you a chance to win every game, and will get you 200 innings. And boy, oh boy, that is a support column for anybodyâ€™s starting rotation.
MMc: You think about how many years the Tigers have looked for a durable, dependable, left-handed starter, and they finally got one.
LH: Absolutely, if only because the other guys tend to be a little more impressive in terms of their pitch speeds and repertoires that Nate Robertson is viewed as a weak link. Thereâ€™d be plenty of rotations where heâ€™d be absolute salt of the earth. But thatâ€™s what happens when you get some success, everybody gets a little spoiled.
Still don’t believe Robertson is valuable? Let’s talk when Kenny Rogers retires.