David Robertson, Phillies Agree to 2-Year Contract Worth Reported $23 Million

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistJanuary 3, 2019

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 31: David Robertson #30 of the New York Yankees reacts after striking out the final batter to defeat the Detroit Tigers 7-5 in a game at Yankee Stadium on August 31, 2018 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
Rich Schultz/Getty Images

The Philadelphia Phillies signed free-agent reliever David Robertson to a two-year contract, the Phillies announced Thursday

Mark Feinsand of MLB.com first reported the news and noted the deal had $23 million in guaranteed money. Robertson will earn $10 million in 2019 and $11 million in 2020 with a $12 million club option or $2 million buyout for 2021, per Feinsand.

The 33-year-old opted to represent himself during negotiations rather than use an agent.

Robertson came up with the New York Yankees, spending the first seven years of his big league career in the Bronx. A strong start to his career helped him cash in during his first free-agent experience to the tune of a four-year, $46 million contract with the Chicago White Sox in December 2014.

However, the right-hander was later reacquired by New York prior to the 2017 non-waiver trade deadline. That move helped the Yankees build one of the best bullpens in baseball.

With Robertson, Aroldis Chapman and Dellin Betances, New York had a number of shutdown relievers it could turn to in order to protect the lead the last two years. But that didn't stop the team from adding two-time All-Star Zach Britton to the mix this past summer, either.

Robertson went 8-3 with five saves and a 3.23 ERA in 69 appearances in 2018, striking out 91 in 69.2 innings.

Not only has he been effective on the mound, but part of his value is tied to the fact he has always been available to his team. Since establishing himself as a big leaguer, he has made 60-plus appearances in nine straight seasons.

While he enjoyed success in the Bronx, he was no longer closing games as frequently as he was when he first signed the deal. He piled up 110 saves from 2014-16, recording at least 34 in three consecutive seasons.

Now, Robertson may get the opportunity to return to the role in Philly, though the team could keep Seranthony Dominguez as its closer with Robertson handling all other high-leverage situations.

The Phillies are getting a veteran reliever who is willing to accept whatever role the team asks of him and a former All-Star who has no shortage of postseason experience, which includes a World Series championship.


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