Robertson, who signed a two-year, $23 million deal with the Phillies on Thursday, is not expected to be used as a traditional closer in 2019, Matt Breen of The Philadelphia Inquirer reports. Instead, it sounds like the Phillies will use the veteran reliever in a more versatile high-leverage relief role, which suggests manager Gabe Kapler could once again mix and match in the ninth-inning (rather than settle on one closer) in order to leverage matchups. While Robertson could still possibly emerge as the primary closer at some point in 2019, he's worth considering in mixed-leagues even without a full-time closer gig given his strong ratios and impressive strikeout rate (3.23 ERA, 1.03 WHIP and 11.8 K/9 across 69.2 innings in 2018).
Robertson signed to a two-year, $23 million contract with the Phillies on Thursday, Mark Feinsand of MLB.com reports. The deal also includes a third-year club option worth $12 million. As expected, Robertson opted to stick in the northeast after ending the 2018 season in New York. The 33-year-old is coming off another solid season in which he posted a 3.23 ERA, 1.03 WHIP and 11.8 K/9 across 69.2 innings. Given his proven track record in the ninth inning -- he recorded north of 30 saves in three straight seasons with the White Sox from 2014-2016 -- Robertson figures to be the favorite (over incumbent Seranthony Dominguez) to emerge as Philadelphia's closer in 2019. Even without a full-time closer role, however, Robertson is still rosterable in mixed-league formats thanks to his strong ratios and impressive strikeout rate, and the Phillies could opt to mix and match in order to leverage matchups in the late innings, rather than settle on one closer.
Robertson is looking to sign a three-year deal while interested clubs want to keep any deal at two years, George A. King of the New York Post reports. Robertson is hoping to stay in the northeast and has at least two regional suitors, with Boston and Philadelphia both looking to add the erstwhile closer.
Robertson picked up his fifth save of the season Friday against the Tigers, allowing one hit and one walk while striking out the side in a scoreless ninth inning. Robertson was called upon after Dellin Betances blew Thursday's save opportunity, and the veteran right-hander delivered, working around a leadoff single and a walk to secure the victory. The 33-year-old has now converted both of his save opportunities since Aroldis Chapman (knee) landed on the DL, allowing just two hits while striking out eight across four scoreless innings over that stretch. He'll continue to share the ninth inning with Betances and Zach Britton, who picked up the win Friday after entering in the eighth with the score tied 4-4, while Chapman is out.
Robertson picked up the save against the Orioles on Sunday, firing a scoreless ninth inning to preserve the Yankees' 5-3 victory. He struck out two and walked one. Robertson is on a closer committee with Aroldis Chapman (knee) on the disabled list and he got the nod in this contest, responding with a clean effort that resulted in his fourth save of the season. He should be good for the occasional save while Chapman is out, but he's sharing the role with Zach Britton and Dellin Betances, so it's hard to say how consistently he'll be the one called on for ninth-inning duties.