Free-agent reliever David Robertson is headed to the Phillies on a two-year, $23 million contract, according to Mark Feinsand of MLB.com. Robertson’s deal includes a third-year option that can take its value to $34 million.
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
Robertson, who stated a desire to pitch near his Rhode Island home at the outset of free agency, was frequently mentioned as a top target for the Red Sox in their pursuit of relief pitching this winter. Though Boston was known to be unwilling to give Robertson a three-year guarantee, their reluctance to match Philadelphia’s reasonable bid may signal that the club’s interest was overblown.
Robertson, who turns 34 in April, was also linked to the Mets, Angels, Dodgers and Yankees as a free agent. He joins Jesse Chavez (Rangers), Jeurys Familia (Mets), Joe Kelly (Dodgers) and Andrew Miller (Cardinals) as relievers to secure multi-year deals on the open market this offseason.
The Phillies were rumored as a strong suitor for Craig Kimbrel, so the addition of Robertson likely takes them out of the mix for the top available closer. Kimbrel’s market appears to have fewer suitors than originally anticipated, with the Mets (Edwin Diaz) and Phillies (Robertson) adding relievers elsewhere and the White Sox and Braves reportedly unlikely to spend big at closer.
The Red Sox are believed to remain interested in a reunion with Kimbrel, with the Robertson news increasing the chances of a reunion between the two sides. Boston has also frequently been connected to Adam Ottavino and Zach Britton, who are both still available.
Robertson, who has spent nine of his 11 big-league seasons with the Yankees, posted a 3.23 ERA and 11/8 K/9 in 69.2 innings for New York last year.