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.
The Athletic’s James Fegan reports that the White Sox are shutting down starter Lucas Giolito for the remainder of a season. An MRI revealed a mild lat strain, which typically comes with a three- to four-week recovery timetable. The third-place, 65-84 White Sox have nothing left to play for, so it makes sense to play it safe with their prized young hurler.
Giolito, 25, had a breakout season. He went 14-9 with a 3.41 ERA and a 228/57 K/BB ratio in 176 2/3 innings. He made his first All-Star team and will likely earn a few downballot votes for the AL Cy Young Award.
Giolito was scheduled to start Tuesday’s series opener against the Twins. Ross Detwiler will start in his place opposite Martín Pérez.