The Philadelphia Phillies have significantly improved their bullpen, adding 11-year veteran reliever David Robertson on a multi-year contract after he passed his physical in Philadelphia on Thursday.
Welcome to the phamily, Robertsons! pic.twitter.com/v9iUek3Xry— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) January 3, 2019
Robertson, who will turn 34 on April 9, will make his National League debut in 2019. Thus far, Robertson has thrown 501 games with the New York Yankees (2008-14, 2017-18) and 153 games with the Chicago White Sox (2015-17), combining for a 2.88 ERA, 1.145 WHIP, 137 saves and a 874-260 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 657 innings.
In conversation with MLB.com's Mark Feinsand, Robertson said Philadelphia "really checked off all the boxes" for him, and that the Phillies are "hungry to get back to the postseason and win."
"They have a great fan base, a beautiful ballpark and a special focus on charity," Robertson told MLB.com. "They've put together a great squad and I think I can bring a lot to the team in the back end of their bullpen."
Feinsand outlines the specifics of Robertson's new deal:
The right-hander will earn $10 million in 2019 and $11 million in 2020, while the deal also includes a $12 million club option for 2021 that would make the deal worth $33 million over three years if it's exercised. The Phillies can buy out the option for $2 million, meaning Robertson is guaranteed $23 million over the next two years.
According to Feinsand, Robertson was self-represented in his free agency search this offseason, as he parted ways a few months ago with his former agent, Scott Leventhal. Robertson called the experience pursuing a contract without an agent "eye-opening," in that he has "always been fascinated by the business of baseball."
"... This gave me an opportunity to see a side of it that I hadn't seen before," Robertson told MLB.com. "I'm not sure I would recommend it to everyone, but I'm glad I took the opportunity to represent myself."
Philly, you’re going to love @DRob30.— gabe kapler (@gabekapler) January 3, 2019
The Birmingham, Alabama, native and fellow Phillies reliever Tommy Hunter were teammates at the University of Alabama in 2006. Robertson faced the Phillies in the 2009 World Series with the Yankees, throwing 2 1/2 scoreless innings with two strikeouts over as many appearances.
It is ironic that Robertson will don pinstripes for the first time, exactly one decade later.