There's been a steady stream of relief arms finding new homes around the league ever since Josh Hader went off the free agent board. Former Philadelphia Phillies reliever David Robertson is the latest pitcher to join a new bullpen.
Robertson has agreed to terms on a one-year contract with the reigning World Series champion Texas Rangers, according to ESPN's Jeff Passan. The deal is worth a reported $11 to $12 million for the 2024 season.
After watching their division rival Houston Astros land Hader, the Rangers decided to bolster their relief corps with the 38-year-old Robertson, who has 175 career saves.
Robertson posted a 6-6 record with 18 saves, a 3.03 ERA, and a 1.19 WHIP in 65 1/3 innings last season, split between the division rival New York Mets and Miami Marlins. It was a tale of two seasons for the right-hander, though. With the Mets, Robertson was close to lights out with a 4-2 record, 14 saves, a 2.05 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP in 44 innings.
After being traded to the Marlins, he fell apart, pitching to a 5.06 ERA and 1.59 WHIP over 21 1/3 innings. He logged four saves but blew three — the same number he blew in his time in New York.
The Rangers are hoping that the Mets version shows up in 2024, as they could use some help after losing Will Smith and Aroldis Chapman to free agency.
Robertson's time with the Phillies was spotty
Going into his 16th MLB season, Robertson has spent time with the Phillies twice over his career. The first stint was disappointing, to say the least. After agreeing to a two-year, $23 million contract in 2019, Robertson only appeared in seven games before landing on the IL and undergoing Tommy John surgery. After being out for the 2020 season, the team declined the option year on his deal in 2021.
The second time around in Philadelphia for Robertson went a little better. Acquired at the 2022 Trade Deadline from the Chicago Cubs, he pitched 23 1/3 innings down the stretch. He posted a 2.70 ERA but battled command issues, issuing a 6.17 BB/9 and a 1.37 WHIP out of the bullpen.
The 2022 postseason brought better results for the righty, even though he still had a problem with free passes, walking five batters over 7 2/3 innings between the NLCS and World Series. He did manage a 1.17 ERA and a 33.3 percent strikeout rate, at least, and picked up the save in Game 1 of the World Series against the Houston Astros.