BOSTON (CBS) — Now that 2019 has arrived, there is finally some movement on the reliever market.
But that means one less potential option for the Boston Red Sox, as free agent reliever David Robertson has agreed to a two-year deal with the Philadelphia Phillies, according to MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand.
Boston reportedly had an eye on Robertson for their bullpen — and as a potential closer. The 33-year-old made 69 appearances for the Yankees in 2018, notching 21 holds and five saves to go with a 3.23 ERA and 1.03 WHIP. In his 11 MLB seasons (eight and a half of which were spent in New York), the righty boasts a 2.88 ERA and 1.14 WHIP.
The Phillies signing Robertson could help the Red Sox in their search for a closer. While it means one of the top free agent options is off the board, so too is some of their competition for a reliever. Philadelphia probably won’t want to pony up more loot for free agent relievers like Zach Britton and Adam Ottavino, both of whom have been connected to Boston on the rumor mill.
And though Boston isn’t expected to give free agent closer Craig Kimbrel the mega-deal his agent wants this offseason, the Phillies were seen as their main competition for the seven-time All-Star. That probably isn’t the case anymore, so maybe Boston can bring him back at a more realistic figure.
It could also work against the Red Sox. Other teams may see the ball finally rolling on the reliever market, and start throwing silly cash at those still available. If the Red Sox wait too long, they may be left with only in-house options like Matt Barnes and Ryan Brasier for the ninth inning in 2019.
The Red Sox have been playing the waiting game when it comes to the reliever market, and it may eventually pay off. But with Robertson signing with Philadelphia, the rest of baseball may be done waiting on relievers.