While Bryce Harper and Manny Machado stand as the crown jewels of free agency this winter, the group of relief pitchers on the open market include marquee names as well, such as Zach Britton, Joe Kelly, Craig Kimbrel and David Robertson, among others.
Of the trio, Kelly was first to come off the board, agreeing to a three-year contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers. President of baseball operations Andrew Friedman acknowledged the bullpen was an area he intended to address, and signing Kelly was notable.
Prior to coming to terms with the right-hander, the Dodgers were among the teams linked to Robertson during the Winter Meetings in Las Vegas. Three weeks later, he has now agreed to a three-year contract with the Philadelphia Phillies, per Mark Feinsand of MLB.com:
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
Robertson appeared in 69 games for the New York Yankees this past season, going 8-3 with five saves, a 3.23 ERA, 2.97 FIP, 1.03 WHIP and 91 strikeouts against 26 walks over 69.2 innings pitched.
This marks his first foray into the National League, as the 33-year-old spent the previous 11 seasons either with the Yankees or Chicago White Sox. For the Phillies, it’s yet another signing to strengthen their roster as they await decisions from Harper and Machado.