By Theo DeRosa, Sports Talk Philly staff
Reliever David Robertson has agreed to a 2-year, free-agent contract with the Philadelphia Phillies, according to multiple reports Thursday afternoon.
MLB.com's Mark Feinsand was first to report news of the deal, which brings the 33-year-old right-hander to Philly for two years plus a team option.
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
As Feinsand notes, Robertson is slated to earn $10 million in 2019 and $11 million in 2020. A $2 million buyout of his $12 million club option for the 2021 season means Robertson is guaranteed to earn at least $23 million during his deal. Andrew Miller, whose ERA topped 4 in 2018 amid injury issues, received a $25 million commitment over two years from the St. Louis Cardinals.
Robertson spent a productive 2018 with the New York Yankees, where he put up a 3.23 ERA in 69.2 innings. Robertson owns a career ERA of 2.88 in his 11-year career: two stints with the Yankees and two-plus years with the Chicago White Sox.
"Philly really checked off all the boxes for me," Robertson told MLB.com. "They 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. 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."
He joins, at the minimum, Seranthony Domínguez, Víctor Arano, Juan Nicasio, Pat Neshek, Tommy Hunter, Edubray Ramos, José Álvarez, James Pazos, Héctor Neris and Austin Davis in the Phillies' bullpen competition, though Robertson will certainly be guaranteed a role. Signing Robertson gives the Phils another dependable late-inning option and bolsters the depth of the bullpen as a whole.
While many Phillies fans still have a left-handed reliever (Zach Britton or Adam Ottavino) on their wish list, Robertson owns solid numbers against both left- and right-handed hitters. In his career, Robertson has allowed just a .546 OPS to lefties; right-handers have produced a .667 mark. These reverse splits help diminish the urgent need for a star left-hander in the 'pen.