Phillies decline David Robertson’s option for 2021 season
By Matt Rappa
The Phillies have declined RHP David Robertson’s option for the 2021 season
One of the most expected moves that the Philadelphia Phillies would make this offseason is declining the $12 million club option on veteran reliever David Robertson‘s contract for the 2021 season.
The organization did just that on Friday, according to MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand. Instead, the Phillies owe the 2009 World Series champion a $2 million buyout. In total, Robertson will have earned $25 million from the Phillies; his two-year, $23 million, along with the buyout.
The Phillies have also since decided to decline club options on fellow right-handed pitchers Hector Neris and David Phelps, the first of whom will remain on the 40-man roster and is eligible for arbitration, according to NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Jim Salisbury.
The former New York Yankees star reliever, who will turn 36 next April, made just a few relief appearances with the Phillies at the start of the 2019 season; he was injured throughout most of his two-year pact. In 6 2/3 innings, he allowed four runs, eight hits, and six walks, while striking out six of his 33 batters faced.
The 12-year veteran’s best season came in 2011, in which he was named an All-Star and finished in the top-11 in Cy Young Award voting and top-22 in Most Valuable Player Award consideration. Spanning 70 appearances and 66 2/3 innings that year with the Yankees, Robertson posted a 1.08 ERA, 1.125 WHIP, and 100-35 strikeout-to-walk ratio across 66 2/3 innings.
Robertson’s option being declined for the 2021 season is one among many recently made in Major League Baseball. The American League champion Tampa Bay Rays surprisingly declined RHP Charlie Morton‘s $15 million option and catcher Mike Zunino‘s $4.5 million option, making them free agents.
Of course, any player whose club option is declined can still return on a more team-friendly deal; given uncertainty surrounding revenues amid the COVID-19 crisis, this will likely be a common theme this offseason.
Given Robertson has a relationship with Phillies manager Joe Girardi during the several seasons they spent together in New York, he just might be brought back on a veteran minimum deal to prove he can still be an impactful, late-inning reliever.