The Philadelphia Phillies signed veteran reliever David Robertson to a two-year contract this past offseason, and, in return, they will likely receive only 6 2/3 innings.
On Saturday the Phillies announced Robertson has undergone Tommy John surgery, which should cause him to miss the entire 2020 season. He has been sidelined since mid-April with ongoing elbow trouble, including a flexor tendon issue.
David Robertson had Tommy John surgery on Thursday. Rehab is typically 14-16 months, meaning he is expected to miss the entire 2020 season.
— Todd Zolecki (@ToddZolecki) August 17, 2019
As a free agent this past winter, part of Robertson’s appeal was his durability. He averaged 65 appearances from 2010-18, and Robertson and Tyler Clippard were the only pitchers to make at least 60 appearances every year during that span.
Robertson, 34, threw 69 2/3 innings with a 3.23 ERA and 91 strikeouts for the Yankees last season. His two-year contract with the Phillies is worth $23 million guaranteed, and includes a $12 million club option for 2021. The Phillies figure to pay the $2 million buyout instead, at which point Robertson will hit free agency as a 36-year-old reliever coming off two lost years.
Philadelphia signed Robertson as part of an offseason roster overhaul that included signing Bryce Harper and Andrew McCutchen, and trading for Jean Segura and J.T. Realmuto. Hector Neris has been the club’s primary closer this year while Robertson (and several other relievers) have been sidelined.