NEW ROTOWORLD BETA SITE

David Shovein

Offseason Lowdown

print article archives RSS

Lowdown: Robertson Adds Relief

Friday, January 4, 2019


Robertson Brings Relief


The Phillies quickly became major players in the relief pitcher market on Thursday. Shortly after Fancred’s Jon Heyman reported that the club was “getting close” on a deal with free agent right-hander David Robertson, Mark Feinsand of MLB.com confirmed that they had indeed signed the 33-year-old hurler to a two-year, $23 million contract.


He'll earn $10 million in 2019, $11 million in 2020, and there is a $12 million club option (or $2 million buyout) for 2021. Jon Heyman of Fancred also reports that Robertson can earn multiple $50,000 to $100,000 bonuses, and that one percent of his salary will go to the team's charity.


Robertson drew reported interest this winter from the Yankees, Red Sox, and Angels, but the Phillies apparently made the best offer.


Matt Breen of the Philadelphia Inquirer & Daily News writes that Robertson "will be used as another late-inning, high-leverage arm and not as a traditional closer." Phillies manager Gabe Kapler apparently won't use a designated ninth-inning man in 2019, though Robertson and Seranthony Dominguez figure to carry the most amount of fantasy value among the Philadelphia relief corps.


Robertson registered a 3.23 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, and 91/26 K/BB ratio over 69 2/3 innings with the Yankees in 2018, earning five saves and 21 holds. A move to the National League, and away from the hitter-friendly confines of Yankee Stadium, should only boost his fantasy appeal.


His draft stock will certainly rise based on this news. Prior to the announcement, Robertson was being drafted just outside the top 300 players overall and outside the top 30 relief pitchers. Given the uncertainty of role with Dominguez likely to share chances, expect him to settle in somewhere around 20th at the position and around 200th overall.


The fantasy stock for Dominguez should also slide based on this news. He was being drafted as the 16th closer off the board and around pick 180 overall. He should slide down to that same projected range that Robertson will now go off the board in.


If either one winds up with the full-time gig there, there will be substantial room for profit. It’s a difficult situation for fantasy owners though, as it’ll be very difficult to acquire both of them given the high draft capital it would take to do so, so it isn’t a situation that you’re likely to be able to handcuff. It looks to me like a high-risk, moderate-reward situation, and one that I’ll probably avoid personally, as I prefer to pay up for certainty at the position.



No Love for Kimbrel?


Long considered one of the truly elite closers in all of baseball, Craig Kimbrel finished the 2018 season on top of the world, helping to pitch the Boston Red Sox to a World Series title.


The 30-year-old right-hander was named to his seventh All-Star team in the past eight seasons earlier in the year and had posted a stellar 2.74 ERA, 0.99 WHIP and 96/31 K/BB ratio across 62 ⅓ innings while racking up 42 saves.


It looked as though he was set to cash in big on the free agent market, but so far interest has been lukewarm at best.


Evan Drellich of NBC Sports reported Thursday that an anonymous American League executive told him that interest in Kimbrel has been “crazy low” and that"The support that you have [in organizations] to pay people is getting worse. Feels like a war coming if the sight lines don't change for the better."


There were reports that the 30-year-old was looking for something along the lines of a six-year, $100 million deal, but based on what Drellich is hearing, he may have to settle for something considerably lower than that.


If he’s forced to lower his asking price, or reduce the number of years that he’s looking for, it could conceivably open the door for a return to the Red Sox, which would be a tremendous boon to his fantasy value as it would be a terrific spot to once again rack up plenty of saves.


Rob Bradford of WEEI believes that the market for Kimbrel is down to the Red Sox, Phillies and possibly the Braves. With the Phillies in play as a possible suitor, Kimbrel may have to wait for the Bryce Harper and Manny Machado sweepstakes’ to play out before eventually finding a place to settle down.




Making an Offer


USA Today's Bob Nightengale confirmed Thursday that the White Sox have made a formal contract offer to free agent superstar Manny Machado.


The 26-year-old infielder is said to be looking for a 10-year contract worth north of $300 million, and Bruce Levine of 670 The Score in Chicago reported Wednesday that the White Sox are not comfortable offering more than seven years, no matter the player.


The White Sox have yet to comment publicly on the report, which Nightengale characterized as “closer to $200 million than $300 million.”


Machado met with the White Sox on the Monday following the Winter Meetings and has also met with the Yankees and Phillies. All three clubs that are vying for his services have also expressed interest in Bryce Harper. It’s starting to look likely that at least one of those clubs is going to wind up left out in the cold after the winter’s two biggest free agents finally settle down.




Quick Hits: According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, the Yankees have "been in discussions" with free agent reliever Zach Britton… Phillies general manager Matt Klentak told reporters on Thursday that they're hoping to meet with Bryce Harper soon…. According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the chances of the Indians trading Corey Kluber or Trevor Bauer "seem to diminish by the day."... The White Sox picked up former Diamondbacks’ right-hander Randall Delgado on a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training… The Mets signed a couple of former top prospects -- Arismendy Alcantara and Rymer Liriano -- to minor league contracts with invitations to big league camp… Jerad Eickhoff (carpal tunnel) is expected to be 100 percent ready for spring training after undergoing surgery in October… Chris Cotillo of Mass Live reports that free agent right-hander Adam Warren has a "robust" market… The Mariners admitted Thursday that they plan to limit the workload on Yusei Kikuchi in his first season stateside… Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic writes that the Brewers "like" free agent second baseman Brian Dozier.



Dave Shovein is a baseball writer for Rotoworld. You can follow him on Twitter @DaveShovein.
Email :David Shovein



Highest Searched Players over the last 7 days



Video Center

  •  
    Player News: Week 17

    Player News: Week 17
  •  
    Matchups: Gordon, Jeffery

    Matchups: Gordon, Jeffery
  •  
    DFS Analysis: Williams/Coleman

    DFS Analysis: Williams/Coleman
  •  
    Dose: Cam

    Dose: Cam's Season Ends
  •  
    DFS Analysis: GB

    DFS Analysis: GB's Williams
  •  
    Dose: Cam Shut Down

    Dose: Cam Shut Down
  •  
    Dose: Lindsay Makes Pro Bowl

    Dose: Lindsay Makes Pro Bowl
  •  
    Dose: Gordon Eyes Wk 16 Return

    Dose: Gordon Eyes Wk 16 Return