Image credit: David Robertson (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
With their sights set on the playoffs, the Marlins swung a deal with the Mets on July 27 to bring veteran reliever David Robertson into their bullpen. The righthander brings several years of playoff experience, having been to eight tournaments, including being on the World Series-winning Yankees club from 2009 and the Phillies’ pennant-winner from 2022.
In return, the Mets received a pair of intriguing, high-upside prospects who were both in the Rookie-level Florida Complex League in second baseman Marco Vargas and switch-hitting catcher Ronald Hernandez.
David Robertson, RHP
The Mets signed veteran reliever David Robertson to a one-year, $10 million deal to serve as a set-up reliever. The 38-year-old was pushed into the closer role when Edwin Diaz tore the patellar tendon in his knee at the World Baseball Classic. As he did last year for the Cubs, Robertson handled the unexpected closer’s role with aplomb. This year he saved 14 games in 17 chances with a 2.05 ERA, 1.00 WHIP and 48 strikeouts in 44 innings. Robertson throws only cutters and breaking pitches, getting swings and misses with all three and favoring his outstanding curveball for strikeouts. He has quietly amassed 171 career saves to rank seventh among active pitchers.
Marco Vargas, 2B
Vargas was intriguing entering the season and over the course of the summer has emerged as one of the most intriguing players on the east coast of the Florida Complex League. Vargas was signed out of Mexico in 2022 and performed well in the DSL in his first pro season. Interestingly enough, he was signed with the intention of transitioning to catching after playing second base in his first few seasons as a pro. No matter where he winds up on defense, his bat is the ticket. He has an excellent feel for contact and showed burgeoning impact this season as well. The lefty swinger has a solid approach, rarely chases but doesn’t have a whole lot of present impact, though at his age there’s plenty of time to develop. He has played primarily shortstop this season in the FCL and has a chance to stick there in the long run thanks to loose, fluid actions and enough arm strength for the left side. If he does move over to second base, he should have the bat to profile.
Ronald Hernandez, C
Hernandez was signed out of Venezuela in 2021 and has spent all his career in the complex league, including his first pro year in the DSL and the last two in the FCL. The switch-hitter shows athleticism and discipline at the plate with the potential to hit 20-plus home runs if he reaches his potential. He’s unlikely to hit for a particularly high average but has the chance to balance it with walk-fueled OBPs. Defensively, he has a strong arm, has shown leadership traits behind the plate and has allowed just one passed ball this season.