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Marlins Trade for SP Robertson

Florida Marlins acquired LHP Nate Robertson from the Detroit Tigers for LHP Jay Voss.

According to Joe Frisario’s MLB.com article, the Tigers are picking up $9.6 million of Robertson’s $10 million salary for the 2010 season.

The 32 year-old lefty posted a decent 4.68 xFIP in 2008, but his ERA soared to 6.35 as he suffered a .343 batting average on balls in play and performed poorly with runners on base (64.3 LOB%). In 2009, the former Marlins prospect hit the DL twice: a lower back strain sidelined Robertson in May, and elbow surgery shelved him from late June to late August. He also had surgery to repair a torn groin muscle during the offseason.

When he did pitch, Robertson wasn’t terribly unlucky. He was just lousy (5.44 ERA, 5.37 xFIP). He struggled to place pitches in the strike zone (43.4 Zone%, compared to the 49-51% MLB average) and walked over five batters per nine innings.

Robertson isn’t an appealing fantasy option at this point, as CHONE (4.81 FIP) and ZiPS (4.97 FIP) both project FIPs in the high fours. At his peak, he was a league-average starter, supplementing below-average K rates with solid control and groundball proclivities. Struggling to throw strikes and stay healthy, Robertson now has “stay away” stamped on his forehead.

The trade also means that Dontrelle Willis will get a chance at the back of Detroit’s rotation, and Clay Hensley will be bumped to Florida’s ‘pen.