The hard-throwing righty has found a new home, agreeing to sign with the Phillies on a two-year deal worth $23 million. David Robertson pitched well for the New York Yankees in 2018. He helped their bullpen post the fourth-lowest ERA, fourth-best save percentage, and second-most strikeouts among all MLB teams. In adding Robertson, the Phillies also benefit from his extensive playoff experience (3.48 ERA with 40 K’s in 33.2 IP) in a push to return to the postseason in 2019.
BREAKING: David Robertson has agreed to a two-year deal with the Phillies that guarantees him at least $23 million. He’ll earn $10M in 2019, $11M in 2020, with a $12M club option ($2M buyout) for 2021. He’s passed a physical and the deal is complete.
— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) January 3, 2019
Righty David Robertson Signs with Philadelphia Phillies
Robertson struck out 91 batters (32.2% K%) over 69.2 IP in 2018. He also posted a 3.23 ERA, 2.97 FIP, and 1.033 WHIP. He also notched five saves for New York, showing he still has the chops to finish games if needed. His 2018 performance and extensive experience closing with 110 saves from 2014 – 2016 made Roberton one of the most tantalizing relief arms available this off-season, giving him the leverage needed to finalize a deal.
This is a great signing by the Phillies as Robertson is a safe bet to continue providing quality, high-octane relief innings in 2019 and beyond. Robertson has a history of staying healthy, averaging just over 64 IP per season from 2010 – 2018. In that time, he is third overall in innings pitched (583) and fourth overall in strikeouts (775 K’s) for relievers, putting him in elite company in that category. Craig Kimbrel, Kenley Jansen, and Aroldis Chapman are the only relievers with more over that span.
Despite the miles on his arm, Robertson’s average velocity increased (+0.7 MPH Cutter, +1.8 MPH Slider, +1.5 MPH Curve) on all his main offerings in 2018, and he maintained his ability to make batters miss (13.4% SwStr%, 30% O-Swing%). This is a great move by the Philliess and has the potential to eclipse other reliever deals in generated value.
It is no secret Kimbrel was the top reliever on the free-agent market. However, Robertson’s signing proves the bullpen can be improved without going for the top arm on the market.
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