Tale of the tape: Andrew Miller vs. David Robertson

David Robertson is a closer. Andrew Miller isn’€™t. That distinction€“ — and superior performance last season — actually makes Miller attractive to more teams on the free-agent market.

Miller isn’€™t restricted to the ninth inning. He isn’€™t attached to a draft pick. And he isn’€™t asking for "€œJonathan Papelbon money."€

That’€™s the deal that Robertson wants, according to published reports –€“ four years, $50 million. But considering the demand for Miller, it’€™s possible that he could land the bigger contract; being left-handed gives him yet another advantage over Robertson, who is a righty.

Teams generally are disinclined to pay big money to relievers, but the Red Sox already have re-signed Koji Uehara, who will turn 40 in April, to a two-year, $18 million contract. Robertson, meanwhile, rejected the Yankees’€™ one-year, $15.3 million qualifying offer, figuring he could get a larger guarantee in free agency.

Now consider this tale of two 29-year-olds, Robertson vs. Miller in 2014:

By the numbers

IP 62.1 64.1
ERA 2.02 3.08
K/9 14.9 13.4
BB/9 2.5 3.2
WHIP 0.80 1.06
FIP 1.54 2.71

Robertson has a longer, more consistent track record. But Miller is that rare power left-hander who excels against both left-handed and right-handed batters.

From 2012 to ’14, Miller held lefties to a .516 OPS and righties to a .558. Robertson has reverse splits; lefties had a .497 OPS during that same that three-year period, righties a .723.

Both relievers are excellent. Both will get paid. The question is which one will get the bigger deal. And the answer might surprise us.