While the Philadelphia Phillies wait on free-agent decisions from Manny Machado and Bryce Harper – ones that may ultimately determine whether the offseason is seen as a success or a failure – they’ve made some smaller additions. The club acquired Jean Segura, who, for the time being, is expected to be the starting shortstop in 2019. Andrew McCutchen was also inked to a three-year/$50 million deal, essentially replacing the offensive production that was lost when Carlos Santana was sent to the Seattle Mariners.
Rather curiously, the Phillies haven’t made a free-agent addition to their bullpen. They added Juan Nicasio and James Pazos in the Segura trade, along with lefty Jose Alvarez in a deal that sent Luis Garcia to the Los Angeles Angels. But for the all the smoke, there hasn’t been much fire in terms of free-agent relievers and the Phillies.
Well, here’s some more smoke.
According to George A. King III of The New York Post, the Phillies “have shown interest” in reliever David Robertson. The 33-year-old righty posted a 3.23 ERA and 2.97 FIP in 69.2 innings for the New York Yankees in 2018. It was the second stint in New York for Robertson, who was an All-Star with the Yankees in 2011.
Though Robertson has pitched in a variety of roles during his career, he did post 110 saves with the Yankees and Chicago White Sox between 2014 and 2016. Given that they already have Tommy Hunter and Pat Neshek – though a trade of either reportedly is something the Phillies are open to – one would think the Phillies would be interested in Robertson as a closer. That would give them an established closer, one they could still upgrade from if the right opportunity presented itself, while allowing Seranthony Dominguez to pitch in whatever the highest-leverage situation between the starting pitcher leaving the game and closer entering is.
At the outset of free-agency, Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors projected that Robertson would receive a three-year/$33 million free-agent contract. King noted in his piece that suitors prefer to sign Robertson, an 11-year veteran, for two years.
The Phillies were connected to Andrew Miller, though he reached a two-year/$25 million deal with the St. Louis Cardinals Friday. The Phillies also reportedly attempted to pitch Nathan Eovaldi on closing, though the playoff hero returned to the Boston Red Sox on a lucrative four-year deal. Both Zach Britton and Craig Kimbrel are still free-agent options with extensive success in the ninth inning.
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