Mets, David Robertson agree to a one-year, $10 million contract
The Mets continued to reshape their bullpen with the 14-year veteran
The Mets continued to reshape their bullpen on Thursday night, agreeing to sign 14-year veteran RHP David Robertson to a one-year, $10 million contract.
Robertson, who will turn 38 in April, pitched to a 2.40 ERA with the Cubs and Phillies in 2022 over 58 appearances, recording 33 games finished between both clubs over 63.2 innings pitched, striking out 81 batters against 35 walks and a 172 ERA+ over the course of the season.
The Phillies acquired Robertson at the trade deadline last season and he made eight appearances in the postseason including four in the World Series, allowing only one run over 7.2 innings pitched. He is 6-0 with a 2.78 ERA in 41 appearances lifetime in the postseason and has pitched on two pennant-winnings teams - the Phillies last season and the Yankees in 2009, the latter having won the World Series that season.
Robertson was in the top ten percentile in expected batting average, expected slugging percentage, strikeout rate, swing-and-miss rate, and fastball spin rate in 2022. His cutter and fastball were his two best pitches in 2022 with a run value of -5 and -6 on those pitches, respectively. His cutter has always had elite vertical movement but it was as good as it’s ever been in the Statcast era in 2022.
The Mets were tasked with rebuilding a bullpen which produced the 10th best ERA in baseball in 2022 at 3.55. They were able to retain Edwin Díaz on a five-year, $102 million contract at the beginning of the off-season and made a trade with the Rays for LHP Brooks Raley on Wednesday. They have reportedly maintained interest in retaining Trevor Williams, but could use additional right-handed and left-handed fortification.
Still, Robertson helps fortify their late-game bullpen strategy and helps shorten games with successful playoff experience as well.
The Mets have made a number of small transactions to create options and depth for their bullpen. They took Zach Greene from the Yankees in the Rule 5 draft on Wednesday and claimed Stephen Ridings off waivers from the Yankees earlier in the off-season, traded for Jeff Brigham and Elieser Hernandez from the Marlins, claimed LHP Taylor Saucedo off waivers from the Blue Jays, and claimed William Woods off waivers from the Braves. All of these pitchers are candidates to join a bullpen consisting of Díaz, Robertson, Raley, Drew Smith and perhaps a combination of other acquisitions along with Stephen Nogosek, Joey Lucchesi, Tylor Megill, David Peterson, John Curtiss, Yoan López, and José Buttó.
With the addition of Robertson and the Mets reportedly signing Brandon Nimmo to an eight-year, $162 million contract on Thursday night, the Mets payroll projects to around $320-325 million in 2023. The Mets will be forced to pay a luxury tax penalty of 90 cents on the dollar above the $293 million payroll threshold.