Phillies add Cubs reliever David Robertson at deadline
The Phillies according to sources have added depth to their bullpen by acquiring right handed reliever David Robertson in a deal with the Chicago Cubs.
This trades marks a reunion of sorts between the Phillies and Robertson, as he previously signed a lucrative $30 million dollar deal during the 2018 offseason. The deal was a disaster from the start for both parties, as Robertson was only able to complete 6 total innings over 2 injury plagued seasons in South Philly after blowing out his throwing elbow. Instead of paying the final year of his contract, the Phillies bought out the remainder of the deal for $2 million prior to the 2021 season.
The Phillies are reportedly giving up 22-year-old pitching prospect Ben Brown in the deal. Brown has had somewhat of a breakout season after being selected in the 33rd round of the 2017 draft out of high school in New York. Brown was recently promoted to AA-Reading after sporting a 3.08 ERA over 73 innings in at A+ Jersey Shore. Brown has surged into the top 10 Phillies prospects according to most scouting services.
Earlier in the week the Phillies front office reportedly had included Brown among the prospects they were unwilling to trade in any deal at the deadline. Obviously, Dave Dombrowski had a change of mind after surveying a trade market that seemingly has more buyers than sellers.
The now 37-year-old Robertson has pitched exceptionally well for the Cubs this season, posting a 2.23 ERA over 40.1 innings of work after signing a 1 year, $3.5 million dollar deal in the offseason. Unlike many of the other relievers in the Phils bullpen who are power pitchers, Robertson has pinpoint control, demonstrated by his K/BB ratio of almost 3:1 and only allowing a total of 4 home runs so far this season.
Robertson recently made two appearances for the Cubs against the Phillies during last week’s sweep directly after the return from the All-Star Game. Robertson picked up the win in the first appearance and notched a his 14th save of the season in the second, while allowing only one hit over two innings of work.
Fans are going to bitch about trading a rising prospect for an older reliever that previously disappointed in a Phillies uniform. But Robertson was the top relief free agent in multiple off seasons for a reason. He is a veteran presence that the Phils can ask to pitch in all types of high leverage situations that previously would have been tagged for Jose Alvarado or Jeurys Familia. That stability alone is worth giving up the potential returns from Ben Brown, who comes with no guarantee attached that he will ever reach the majors.
I am 100% willing to give up the 7th best prospect in our farm system for a chance to make the playoffs for the first time in over a decade. Everyone shut up!