On the first week of 2019 as rumors swirled around the MacHarper FA market, the Philadelphia Phillies once again went under the radar to further strengthen their bull pen. Also looming on the calendar is the 1/11/19 deadline for teams and arbitration-eligible players to submit 2019 salary figures.
FA News: RHP for back end of Bullpen
In true 2010’s fashion the latest acquisition by the Phillies was ushered in by this series of tweets of a deal that none of the interwebs “experts” saw coming:
First was this from the team, and then quickly followed up by Phillies manager Gabe Kapler, who has been using this medium more and more in the off-season, and of course the obligatory tweet from the man himself:
The deal for RHP David Robertson, 33, is said to be for two-years with a guarantee of at least $23 million. He will make $10M in 2019, $11M in 2020, with a $12M club option ($2M buyout) for 2021.
Robertson was 8-3 with a 3.23 ERA, in 69 appearances last season for the New York Yankees. In just over an inning an outing he had 91 Ks, and only 26 BBs. While racking up 137 saves since his debut in 2008, Kapler will most likely not anoint him as the closer. He will probably share that with Seranthony Dominguez, among others.
When quizzed about his preference Robertson said “As long as I’m getting to pitch in the back end, it doesn’t matter if it’s the 7th, 8th, 9th.”
In a response to MLB.Com‘s Mark Feinsand, who was the first to report the deal “Philly really checked off all the boxes for me. “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.”
Along with what he has done in his career against LH batters, BA .176 with a .240 OBP last season and a .546 OPS career, what the Phillies like most about Robertson is his consistency and reliability. In any season his ERA has never gone above 3.80, and his FIP not above 3.58.
The Athletic’s Jayson Stark weighed in with this stat:
Assumedly someone in this now crowded pen will be traded or released.
On Deck: Arbitration $ deadline
Friday is the deadline for teams and arby eligible players to exchange salary figures for 2019.
This group includes RHPs Jerad Eickhoff, Hector Neris, Aaron Nola and Vince Velasquez; LHP Adam Morgan; IFs Cesar Hernandez, and Maikel Franco; and OF Aaron Altherr.
The Phils are well know for settling these cases well before they reach the hearing stage, which begins on 2/1. It is also likely that one or more of these players are not in the Phillies future. Much of that will depend on what happens on the MacHarper front.
I would be remiss if I did not end this post with yet another UnBeLieveGable victory by that other team on Pattison Ave
Next week in NOLA!