New York Yankees: Robertson + Joba = Hughes New York Yankees: Robertson + Joba = Hughes New York Yankees: Robertson + Joba = Hughes

New York Yankees: Robertson + Joba = Hughes

David Robertson

David Robertson probably throwing a strike. Image via Wikipedia

No wonder everyone wants to be a New York Yankee, as who wouldn’t want a boss that hands out half-million dollar raises based on poor performance due to laziness?

You can be sure Phil Hughes isn’t complaining.

Last season, Hughes showed up to Spring Training out of shape, and sat on the DL with shoulder and back injuries for the majority of the season. Ironically, Hughes not pitching was far more productive for the Yankees, all while earning $2.5 million in salary.

So, obviously the logical thing to do was for the Yankee brass to give Hughes a raise and agree to pay him $3.5 million, plus $300,000 more in incentives for the 2012 season, right?

Hughes’ raise certainly doesn’t explain why David Robertson and Joba Chamberlain are making $1.6 million and $1.65 million respectively in 2012.

Chamberlain made $1.4 million in 2011, and has been out since last June due to Tommy John surgery. So I am sure any raise was welcomed with open arms. Still prior to his elbow issues, Joba had finally settled in as a reliever and had become extremely effective. He was more vital to the team than Hughes was without a doubt.

Now regarding Robertson, the Yankees tripled the $460,450 he made in 2011. When considering a player’s overvalue to their team, Robertson was the unsung hero. He is a winner, and even coming out of the bullpen he won five games, same as Hughes.

Robertson was easily a top three middle reliever in 2011, as he was hailed to be what a young Mariano Rivera was to closer John Wetland. Just to give you an idea of how good he was, Robertson’s strikeouts per nine-innings average was 13.5 in 2011. He is literally a strikeout machine.

Robertson’s stellar performance did not go under the radar as he got an All-Star nod, finished 11th in the overall AL CY Young voting and landed 22nd on the final tally for the 2011 AL MVP.

Let me put it simply, the Yankees without David Robertson might not have made the 2011 playoffs as he was that indispensable to the team’s overall success.

Ok, now to finish-off I am leaving you with this formula, and maybe someone can explain to me the Yankees thought process here:

Joba Chamberlain ($1.65m) + David Robertson ($1.6m) = Phil Hughes ($3.2m)

Here are the 2011 season numbers for Robertson, Chamberlain and Hughes:

I was under the impression that in order for a player to get a raise they would need to prove their value, prove that they are trustworthy, and how much they helped their team succeed.

And I am not saying raises are undeserved for underperforming because sometimes circumstances are out of an individual’s control.

My confusion is when did lack of effort, or doing just the bare minimum to get by, earn anyone, any kind of significant salary increase?

In all seriousness, what example are the Yankees or MLB sending here?

“Nowadays those are rewarded who make right appear wrong.” Terence


  1. thomas catanzarita says:

    Maybe they are paying the pitchers by how many hits they give up! I do agree Hughes should not have gotten rewarded for his laziness and ineffective ways. Drob on the other hand deserves more money in my humble opinion. If he has another year like he did last year the Yankees just need to go ahead and give him the key to the vault!

    • Thomas I agree…..Joba was better before he had to have Tommy John surgery. I have never loved Hughes delivery, he only has two pitches and without getting his fastball velocity back up to the mid-90's he will get hit.

  2. Richard Griffith says:

    As much as I'd like to disagree with you, I can't. But for the record, I have confidence that Hughes will make the rotation and have a bounce back year.

    • Richard….Hughes will be in the bullpen in long relief is my bet. That is where he consistently preformed and was the biggest help to the team.

  3. juan montalvo says:

    The pay scale for starters and relief pitchers is very different.That's why the great Mariano Rivera after all his years of greatness is paid only 15mil. a year.

    • Phil Hughes was moved to the bullpen last season, and Robertson won the same amount of games as Hughes in 2011 as a reliever and in this case Robertson was an instrumental part to the success of the team.

      Hughes was not really a starter last season; he showed up to Spring Training out-of-shape and at the Yankees request Hughes is training at the Athletes’ Performances Institute so it does not happen again. He was in shape the year before and the lack of motivation after ending 2010 on the decline, as the 18 wins masked his true performance, you would think at 25 years old he would be motivated on his own accord.

      Hughes has not transformed into a starting pitcher and I don't think he will make the rotation in 2012 because he is not as reliable or experienced enough to be trusted. And even if he has a great Spring Training, still not enough to beat out Garcia, Burnett, Pineda, Nova or Kuroda.

  4. Tanned Tom says:

    It is so hard to fathom, that a 25 year old baseball player cannot stay in shape. I think you will find that players who stay in shape have long careers, and that fat guys don't. I'm sure this won't happen, but I would love to see the team trade Hughes as a way to send a message to other young players. Like they did when they demoted, then traded Melky Cabrera, and let Abreu leave as a free agent. Those moves sent a message to Cano, and he responded by working harder. With all the young pitchers in the farm system who are likely to see time with the ML club very soon, it would be useful to show them what happens to unmotivated, lazy, out of shape, under-performing players. They don't stay Yankees.