The Mets added to their bullpen, inking David Robertson to a one-year, $10 million contract. Robertson, who will turn 38 in the first month of the season, has played for five non-Mets teams since debuting with the Yankees in the 2008 season.
One of the more consistently effective relief pitchers in baseball over the course of his career, the right-handed Robertson has amassed 18.2 bWAR and has struck out 977 batters. In 2022, Robertson was traded to the Phillies as part of their playoff push and he was quite effective for them, putting up a 153 ERA+ over 22 appearances.
While Robertson has averaged 11.9 strikeouts per nine innings over the course of his career, walks have been an issue. 3.7 walks per nine innings is troubling on its own, but Robertson has done well with runners on base, and limits the amount of runners that score.
This move continues the focus on the bullpen that the Mets have shown over the past few weeks, most recently on Wednesday by trading for Brooks Raley and selecting Zach Greene from the Yankees in the Rule 5 draft. However, aside from Edwin Diaz’s record-setting contract - hey, remember that from a month ago? - this is the first real financial commitment the Mets have made to improve the relief corps this offseason. While throwing bodies at the problem is often a good solution, there is no substitute for building up a solid backend of the bullpen.
This is the second big move of the night and the fourth major free-agent acquisition of the week. Steve Cohen’s ‘commitment to winning,’ as Billy Eppler called it earlier this week, is working overtime, even continuing the rapid pace of the Winter Meetings after they have closed up shop.