David Robertson of the New York Mets covers first base...

David Robertson of the New York Mets covers first base during the ninth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Citi Field on July 16, 2023. Credit: Jim McIsaac

David Robertson, former Yankees closer and current Mets closer, will participate in another Subway Series Tuesday and Wednesday in the Bronx, assigned to the most important innings of any reliever on his team.

Probably. Maybe. That is the plan, anyway, subject to change at any moment.

The Mets may well deal Robertson in the coming days ahead of the Aug. 1 trade deadline. Such a move would register as normal for a non-contending team with a good player who is attractive to better clubs.

He is fully aware of — but not enthusiastic about — the possibility.

“I’m not excited about it,” Robertson said in an interview with Newsday over the weekend. “I like it here. I’m not excited about it. It’s just what happens.

“If they move me, it’s because the organization sees a need to, to make them better. If they do, I’m going to end up on a team that really wants to have me. And I’ll probably end up in a very similar role that I’m in now, a high-leverage situation.

“If it happens, it happens. I’ll pack up everything and figure out where to go and figure out which hotel we’re going to live in and all that crap. Cars getting shipped. It’s just a mess. It’s a mess for a family.”


Robertson spoke quietly and slowly, seemingly accepting his fate but nonetheless bummed about it. Already having been traded in July twice in his career, Robertson knows how this goes, but usually it is more fun.

His mindset now differs drastically from his thinking a year ago, when he was with the Cubs and a prime candidate to get dealt. When he signed that contract with a team never expected to be any good, he was just looking to revive his career after several injury-marred seasons. If he pitched well, which he did, a midseason trade to a better club, one pushing for the postseason, was the plan all along.

He wound up with the Phillies, who went to the World Series. He was happy to deal with the logistical hassle of changing teams for the sake of another shot at the playoffs.

“We knew that the whole time,” Robertson said.

Despite another chance to get thrust into a pennant race, this is worse, he said.

Robertson joined the Mets on a one-year, $10 million deal in December. They had just won 101 games, were spending a ton of additional money and thought they were positioning themselves for another successful season.

A trade of Robertson — who has a 2.08 ERA and 1.02 WHIP, more than adequately filling in for the injured Edwin Diaz — would be a decisive signal from the front office that this season has been a failure.

“I was expecting us to be in a better position than where we’re at,” Robertson said. “Our season has not turned out the way we wanted it to. This team now is at a point where they’re probably thinking, if we don’t turn it around in the next few days, they’re going to try to make moves to pick up pieces.

“It’s disappointing that we didn’t do our job correctly in the first few months to end up where we needed to be in the division. That’s what happens when teams don’t get there. People get moved. Especially on one-year deals.”

Joining Robertson in this pre-deadline purgatory are other players on the last guaranteed year of their contracts: outfielders Tommy Pham and Mark Canha and lefty reliever Brooks Raley, among other potential trade candidates. Each could be helpful to a playoff-bound team.

Robertson tries not to think about it, he said. Tries is the operative word.

“People forget what a big change it is, being traded in the middle of the season — or the potential of a trade. It can be pretty cold,” manager Buck Showalter said. “Every once in a while, you got to remind yourself and remind them that these are human beings with feelings and families. They’re not just a piece of meat being thrown around, though sometimes it’ll make you feel that way.”

And so Robertson will keep showing up, pitch when the Mets tell him to pitch, leave if they tell him to leave.

It makes for a weird dynamic, he said.

“There’s nothing I can do about it,” he said. “I just do my job and wait and see.”


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