Mark Feinsand of MLB.com reports that the Philadelphia Phillies have signed reliever David Robertson to a two-year, $23 million deal. The specifics break down to $10 million in 2019, $11 million in 2020, and a $12 million club option for 2021, with a $2 million buyout. That guarantees him $23 million but, obviously, it could be a three-year, $33 million deal if the option is picked up.
Robertson, one of the most consistent relievers in the game, struck out 91 batters in 69.2 innings last season while setting up for the New York Yankees. He’s topped 60 innings in nine straight years and has never struck out fewer than 10.4 batters per nine innings. A one-time closer for both New York and the White Sox, Robertson instantly becomes the Phillies ace reliever.
And the Yankees, Red Sox and other teams looking to upgrade their bullpens instantly become more desperate. And Craig Kimbrel and Zach Britton instantly gain more leverage.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Angels and reliever Cody Allen are in agreement on a one-year contract, pending a physical. The value of the contract is not yet known.
Allen, 30, was looking for an opportunity to close and the Angels can certainly provide that. He will likely be the favorite to break camp as the closer. 2018 was the roughest year of his career, however, as he finished with a 4.70 ERA, 27 saves, and a 80/33 K/BB ratio in 67 innings. Among Allen’s six full seasons, his 27.7 strikeout rate and 11.4 percent walk rate represented career-worsts. FanGraphs also shows him losing nearly a full MPH on his average fastball velocity.
The Angels lost closer Keynan Middleton to Tommy John surgery early last season and he likely won’t return until the second half of the 2019 season. Blake Parker, who handled save situations in Middleton’s place, was non-tendered by the Angels in November and ended up signing with the Twins. The closer’s role is Allen’s to lose, it seems.