The Phillies got the bullpen arm they’ve been looking for.
On Thursday, it was announced that the team and RHP David Robertson had agreed to a two year, $23 million deal with a $12 million club option for 2021.
This is a huge get for the Phils. They finally got themselves an established late inning man to go along with Pat Neshek.
D-Rob was one of the more coveted relievers this offseason, with both the Yankees and Red Sox both looking to keep his services in the AL East. But, from out of nowhere, the Phillies swept in and locked him up.
Robertson has been consistently excellent since debuting in 2008, averaging 2.88 ERA and 68 innings pitched and 12 K’s per nine over his 11 year career.
The biggest thing that Robertson has to offer though isn’t stellar stats, it’s his versatility. Robertson has been a a middle inning man, a long reliever, a setup man, and a closer, and has been elite in every role.
The Phillies had a subpar bullpen in 2018 and it was part the teams shortcomings in August and September which ended in a second place finish.
With the exception of the aforementioned Pat Neshek, as well as 24 year old closer Seranthony Dominguez, the Phillies bullpen ranked in the bottom half of the league in ERA and opponent batting average. They were in desperate need in a rock solid pitcher to get out of jams, and Robertson is the perfect man for the job.
What’s really interesting about this move is that, even with all the additions the Phillies have made this offseason, they can still sign Manny Machado and be well under the luxury tax threshold. The Phillies are making significant roster changes while still conserving funds. It’s awesome to watch.
What’s more interesting is how the Red Sox will respond to this news. They had been linked to D-Rob since the season ended, and it seemed like a perfect match for both sides. Robertson lives in Rhode Island and the Sox were in need of another bullpen arm. However, with Robertson signing in the city of brotherly love, the Red Sox’s options for established big league arms are dwindling fast. The last remaining name that Boston is tied to is Adam Ottavino, but he is garnering a ton of interest from almost every other contending team.
Maybe the Sox plan is to wait Craig Kimbrel out until spring training and hoping that they can re-sign him to a bargain, but that seems like a stretch.
Nevertheless, The Daniel Robertson signing will impact more than just the Phillies, it’s just a matter of how much.
Photo by Julie Jacobson/ AP Photo