David Robertson’s bet on himself has paid off.
After Tommy John surgery cost him two seasons, the 37-year-old Robertson returned to form this year. He appeared in 12 games with the Tampa Bay Rays in 2021 for his first major league action since April 2019. Robertson, who represented himself during contract negotiations, wanted to find the right option. He drove to a one-year, $3.5 million dealincluding up to $1.5 million in incentives, with the Chicago Cubs in March.
And now he’s becoming a playoff contender.
The Cubs traded Robertson to the Philadelphia Phillies on Tuesday for pitching prospect Ben Brown, according to multiple reports.
Robertson re-established his status as one of the best late-inning relievers in the league. He posted a 2.23 ERA, 1.041 WHIP, 189+ ERA, and 14 saves in 40⅓ innings in 36 appearances.
Before last week’s series opener in San Francisco, Robertson reflected on how he would remember his four months with the Cubs if, as expected, he was traded.
“I got another chance and got a deal that I thought was favorable to me and I thought it was a pretty fair shake up to get me back on track,” Robertson said. “I can’t thank the Cubs enough, and I will continue to play hard as long as I’m a Cub. … I’ve had a great time. Wrigley is an amazing place to play baseball. It’s good to be on the home side and not on the road side.”
fulfilled his dream of hitting in a major league game when manager David Ross pinch-hit him in a game against the Pirates on June 22 in Pittsburgh. Robertson struck out swinging on a full-count pitch from Pirates infielder Diego Castillo.
Ross avoided publicly naming a closer entering the season, but it quickly became clear that Robertson was the veteran the manager wanted at the job. Robertson converted 14 of 19 save opportunities, his most since 2017. His 33 postseason relief appearances made him a valuable commodity that got him to the trade deadline. Robertson has a 3.11 career ERA and a 1.062 WHIP in 37⅔ postseason innings, which includes a 2009 World Series title with the New York Yankees.
Robertson’s departure potentially creates more high leverage and save situations for Rowan Wick.