Phillies get David Robertson closer from Cubs

Phillies have made a remarkable addition to their barn, acquisition David Robertson from Cubs. Sales pitch Ben Brown will return to Chicago to reciprocate.

Robertson is arguably the top bullpen arm available this summer. The veteran right-winger signed a one-year, $3.5 million contract with Chicago during spring training. He quickly became the main player of the closer club, saving 14 games in 36 appearances. Robertson threw 40 1/3 innings of the 2.23 ERA ball, passing more than 30% of opponents while hitting the ground with an above-average rate of 48.3%. The 37-year-old made more dribbles than he wanted (11.5%), but Robertson’s combination of cuts and curves could easily handle opposing players. He is generating swing attacks on a strong 13.7% of his services, not too far off the rate of his best days with the Yankees and the White Sox.

Once an All-Star, Robertson was a persistent and occasional reliever for most of his time in New York and on the South Side of Chicago. That led to a two-year contract with the Phils for the 2019-20 season, but Robertson’s first stint in Philadelphia didn’t go as expected, though through no fault of his own. Robertson elbowed just seven games in that deal. He missed the rest of 2019 and ’20 recovering, then returned midway through the 2021 campaign with the Rays. Since recovering, Robertson has an ERA of 2.75 over 52 frames 1/3. Phils will take another hit on him to strengthen the combination between the innings.

Robertson will be a free man later this year. In addition to his base salary, he is starting to hit all his incentives (including a $100k trade bonus), which will bring his total salary up to 5, 1 million dollars. Still, for a pitcher with his track record, it’s a fair price to pay. The Phils bullpen has been solid since the end of the year, but the club have had problems finding consistent results at the end of the game.

In exchange for rolling their low-cost dice on Robertson, the Cubs recouped half a season of stellar work and ultimately made him a more permanent addition to the organization. Brown, 22, was a 33rd round pick back in 2017. The 6-6 hurdler had a breakout 2022 season, throwing down a 3.08 ERA over 73 plays in the High-A. He fanned 35.4% of opponents compared to a 7.7% walk. Baseball America recently ranked him the number 7 prospect in the Philadelphia system, praising his quick-slide-plus-slide combination but showing how discrete control can ultimately be. pushed him to the bullpen role. Brown will have to be added to the Cubs’ 40-man roster this winter to avoid being selected in the draft Rule 5 draft.

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