Free-agent reliever David Robertson seems to be making progress in his recovery from August 2019 Tommy John surgery. The right-hander threw his first bullpen session of the offseason Thursday and is planning to hold a showcase for interested teams in early February, Mark Feinsand of MLB.com reports. He also hired Scott Leventhal as his agent after previously acting as his own representation.
Robertson had a great deal of success with the Yankees and White Sox earlier in his career, but he is coming off a disastrous run in Philadelphia. The Phillies signed Robertson to a two-year, $23MM contract before the 2019 season, but arm troubles essentially made him a nonentity in their uniform. Robertson threw 6 2/3 innings in his first season in Philly (none beyond April 14) and was beaten up for four earned runs on eight hits and six walks. He didn’t pitch at all last season, owing in part to a late-August setback in his rehab, and the Phillies made the easy call after the campaign to decline his $12MM club option in favor of a $2MM buyout.
Despite his struggles in Philadelphia, Robertson could make for a worthwhile low-cost pickup for a team if he’s healthy. The 35-year-old has enjoyed a rather productive career as a setup man and closer, having pitched to a 2.90 ERA/2.65 SIERA with a 32.2 strikeout rate, 9.7 percent walk rate, 147 holds and 137 saves. Robertson also has 663 2/3 frames under his belt, and he surpassed the 60-inning mark in each season from 2010-18.