While the Philadelphia Phillies wait for Manny Machado’s decision, they did not waste time on adding a solid veteran reliever to their bullpen for next season.
According to Mark Feinsand of MLB.com, the Phillies have agreed to a two-year, $23 million deal with reliever David Robertson. Feinsand adds that the 33-year-old pitcher will make $10 million this upcoming season and $11 million in 2020.
In addition to those two years, Robertson also has a relatively cheap $12 million club option for 2021, which is up to the Phillies if they want to exercise it. All in all, the 33-year-old’s deal could end up being a three-year, $33 million contract.
Over the holiday break last month, George A. King III of the New York Post reported that the Phillies were interested in former New York Yankees pitcher. The Boston Red Sox were also reportedly interested in Robertson, who wanted to stay in the Northeast but believed he wanted a three-year deal.
Coincidentally, Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors predicted that the veteran bullpen arm could receive a three-year deal worth $33 million on the free agent market.
With Robertson now in the fold, it gives the Phillies a potential closer and more stability towards the backend of the bullpen. This past season with the Yankees, he posted an ERA of 3.23 with 91 strikeouts over 69.2 innings pitched.
Before returning to the Yankees in 2017, Robertson spent three seasons with Chicago White Sox, where he served as their closer. The veteran reliever compiled 84 saves with an ERA of 3.28 with the White Sox and had 208 strikeouts in 159 innings pitched (11.8 SO/9).
Throughout this offseason, it was mentioned that the Phillies were interested in free agents Andrew Miller, Craig Kimbrel, and Zach Britton.
Just like Robertson, Miller signed a two-year deal with the St. Louis Cardinals, while Kimbrel is still sitting on the free agent due to his once high contract demands. Britton, however, is not one of the Phillies’ targets anymore per Andy Martino of SNY.tv.
It should be interesting to see how the rest of this month shapes up for the Phillies as pitchers and catchers report soon to Clearwater, Florida.