10:15pm: There’s still “mutual interest” in a union between Robertson and the Red Sox, Mark Feinsand of MLB.com tweets. Boston is facing plenty of competition, though, as it’s one of “several” clubs vying for Robertson, per Feinsand.
9:21pm: There have been a handful of newsworthy bullpen signings over the past couple weeks, yet one of the majors’ most accomplished relievers – right-hander David Robertson – remains without a contract. While world champion Boston is among the teams that have shown interest in Robertson this offseason, the Red Sox believe they’re unlikely to reel in the longtime Yankee, George A. King III of the New York Post hears. That could be to the advantage of the Phillies, who are interested in Robertson, King reports.
Although it doesn’t appear the 33-year-old Robertson will join the BoSox, the fit is obvious. He’s a Rhode Island resident who’d like to remain in the Northeast, where he has spent most of his career, and the Red Sox have needs in their bullpen. They’ve already lost setup man Joe Kelly, who signed with the Dodgers, and could also see star closer Craig Kimbrel wave goodbye in free agency. Robertson is heavily experienced as both a setup man and a closer, and based on his outstanding track record of performance and durability, would be a good bet to step in with aplomb for either Kelly or Kimbrel. Nevertheless, Boston’s reportedly hesitant to offer Robertson more than a two-year deal – thus falling short of MLBTR’s three-year, $33MM prediction – and seems to be hoping for relievers’ prices to drop before committing to anyone.
Like the Red Sox, the Phillies would make sense for Robertson from a geographical standpoint. The Phillies could also stand to upgrade their bullpen, though they’ve mostly been connected to left-handed relievers on the rumor circuit. However, Philadelphia witnessed Andrew Miller come off the market Friday, when he signed with the Cardinals, possibly leaving it in “Zach Britton-or-bust” mode when it comes to lefty relievers.
Regardless of handedness, Britton or Robertson – the Yankees’ most noteworthy remaining free agents – would either give the Phillies a terrific setup man or a quality closer who’d bump the electrifying Seranthony Dominguez into a different role. Robertson wouldn’t provide the Phillies the southpaw they desire, but it’s worth noting he has been more dominant against left-handed hitters during his career, having held them to a pathetic .186/.267/.278 line while limiting righties to a weak .219/.302/.364 mark.
As for the Yankees, with both Robertson and Britton unsigned, they’re in the market for two relievers, King notes. It’s unclear how serious New York is about re-signing Robertson, but it is trying to outmaneuver the Phillies and other teams for Britton, Jon Heyman of Fancred reported this week.