The Phillies are hopeful they’ve got a built-in summer acquisition in the form of veteran reliever David Robertson. As Matt Breen of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports on Twitter, new Phils skipper Joe Girardi says that he hopes Robertson will be able to make it back for the second half of the 2020 campaign.
Long a steady and productive late-inning hurler, Robertson endured a brutal first year in Philadelphia after signing on to a two-year deal last winter. He made just seven appearances, breaking a string of nine-straight seasons of 60+ games, and ultimately required Tommy John surgery in mid-August.
The timing of the procedure not only halted any hope of a late-2019 return, but also put Robertson’s 2020 availability in doubt. It was obviously a rough development for the Phils, who are in need of just the kind of output Robertson had long provided and still owe him $13MM (including a buyout on a club option).
Fortunately, it now seems there’s enough progress that a return at some point in 2020 is possible to envision. The team probably can’t make any assumptions about whether, when, and in what form Robertson will make it back. But realistic hope is better than nothing and the Phillies may have more clarity by the time the trade deadline rolls around.