Thursday's baseball: Robertson, Phillies agree to $23M deal
Philadelphia — Reliever David Robertson and the Phillies have agreed to a $23-million, two-year contact.
Robertson gets $10 million this year and $11 million in 2020, and the Phillies have a $12 million option for 2021 with a $2 million buyout.
The 33-year-old right-hander went 8-3 with a 3.23 ERA and five saves in 69 games last season for the New York Yankees.
He left the Yankees after the 2014 season to sign a $46 million, four-year contract with the Chicago White Sox, who traded him to New York in July 2017.
An 11-year veteran and a 2011 All-Star, Robertson has appeared in at least 60 games in nine straight seasons.
He could compete for the closer’s role in Philadelphia, which hasn’t made the playoffs since 2011. Seranthony Dominguez led the Phillies with just 16 saves last season.
Robertson spent parts of nine seasons in the majors with the Yankees, who selected him in the 17th round of the 2006 amateur draft.
He made a pair of relief appearances against the Phillies in the 2009 World Series, allowing a two-run single to Raul Ibanez in the eighth inning of the opener and an RBI groundout to Carlos Ruiz in the third inning of Game 5
Mariners add Kikuchi
Japanese left-hander Yusei Kikuchi has finalized four-year contract with the Seattle Mariners that guarantees $56 million and includes club options that would be make it worth $109 million over seven seasons.
He receives a $6 million signing bonus, salaries of $8 million this year, $14 million in 2020 and $15 million in 2021, and the agreement includes a $13 million player option for 2022. Seattle has options worth $16.5 million annually for 2002-25. Seattle has until the third day after the 2021 World Series to exercise all four team options.
If the Mariners decline, Kikuchi has until the fifth day after the 2021 World Series to exercise his player option.
“Yusei’s combination of character, talent, experience and relative age made him a primary target in our roster building plans,” Seattle general manager Jerry Dipoto said.
“He is an exciting young pitcher with the ability to impact the Mariners, both in the present and future.”
Kikuchi was posted by the Pacific League’s Seibu Lions on Dec. 4. Under the rules in the November 2017 posting agreement, he had until Wednesday afternoon Seattle time to sign with a major league team.
Indians sign RHP Grimm
Looking to rebuild their bullpen, the Cleveland Indians signed free agent right-hander Justin Grimm to a minor-league contract.
Grimm’s deal includes an invitation to training camp where the three-time defending AL Central champions will try to patch together a bullpen missing key components from past seasons.
The 30-year-old Grimm has gone 20-23 record 4.98 ERA in 306 games major league games. He’s been with Texas, the Chicago cubs, Kansas City and Seattle. Grimm was on Chicago’s 2016 postseason roster and appeared in three games against the Indians in the World Series.
He recorded at least 50 relief appearances with the Cubs over four straight seasons, pitching in a career-high 73 games in 2014. Grimm split last season between the Kansas City and Seattle organizations. He twice went on the disabled list with the Royals.
The Indians lost reliever Andrew Miller as a free agent in the offseason. Closer Cody Allen remains unsigned, but the team’s career saves leader is unlikely to return.
Soria gets closer bonuses
Relief pitcher Joakim Soria gets $6.5 million this year and $8.5 million in 2020 as part of his $15 million, two-year contract with the Athletics.
The ex-Tiger can earn bonuses of $250,000 each for 35 and 40 games finished as part of the deal announced Dec. 21.
He would get a $750,000 assignment bonus the first time he is traded.
The 34-year-old right-hander is expected to serve a setup man for closer Blake Treinen.
Soria had a 3.12 ERA and 3-4 record in 66 games last year for the Chicago White Sox and Milwaukee, which acquired him on July 26. He had 16 saves in 19 chances for the White Sox.
Morton could earn $45M
All-Star right-hander Charlie Morton could earn $45 million over three seasons with the Tampa Bay Rays if he doesn’t have lengthy injury problems the next two years and the team exercises a $15 million option for 2021.
Morton is guaranteed $15 million in each of the next two seasons as part of the deal announced Dec. 21.
Morton was 15-3 last year for Houston, making a career-high 30 starts.