Robertson (elbow) will be out for six weeks and likely miss the rest of the 2020 season, according to Todd Zolecki of MLB.com. Robertson recently experienced a setback in his rehabilitation from Tommy John surgery, forcing him to stop playing. It is unknown whether he will be ready for spring training in 2021.
The news on Robertson comes just over a month after Matt Barnes suffered a torn ACL while playing basketball. Both pitchers were considered to be key parts of their teams' rotations this year. This injury could cause both players to become unattractive trade candidates this winter.
In 2019, Robertson was 13-3 with a 2.96 ERA in 32 starts for the New York Yankees. The 28-year-old lefty led all major league starters in wins and was second in innings pitched (243 1/3). His 13 victories were most by a Yankee pitcher since CC Sabathia had 14 in 2009. Robertson also struck out 217 batters in 2018. He was named an All-Star for the third time in his career.
Before coming to New York, Robertson was 9-0 with a 2.57 ERA in 16 games (15 starts) last season for Houston. He led all American League pitchers in wins and was second in strikeouts with 195. Robertson also picked up two saves in 2019. He was drafted by Houston in 2008 after finishing college at West Virginia University.
According to Mark Feinsand of MLB.com, Robertson (elbow) became a free agent when the Phillies declined his club option on Friday. Instead of paying the veteran $12 million for his services next season, the Phillies will give him a $2 million buyout to clear his contract. The move leaves Philadelphia with less than $10 million in savings.
Robertson had two solid seasons with the Phillies after they acquired him from the Blue Jays in 2016. In 2017, he went 10-3 with a 3.12 ERA over 131 innings pitched. This past year, he continued to be one of the best left-handed pitchers in baseball with Toronto before being traded to Philly in August. Robertson finished the 2018 campaign with 32 saves in 36 opportunities and a 3.38 ERA. He's only 31 years old so there is still plenty of time left for him to have an excellent career.
The Phillies decided not to pick up their option because they want to give their other young pitchers a chance to compete for the fifth starter spot this spring. From 2013-2016, Robertson made at least 30 starts every year except 2014 when he missed most of the season due to shoulder surgery. The Phillies believe that someone else besides Jake Arrieta, Hector Neris, Jeremy Hellickson, or Vince Velasquez will be able to take advantage of the opportunity this offseason.
Robertson last pitched extensively for the Yankees in 2018, when he posted a 3.23 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, and 91:26 K:BB over 69.2 innings while collecting five saves and 21 holds. Assuming all goes well in the showcase, he should be able to land at least a minor-league deal for the following season.
The Yankees selected Robertson with the 38th overall pick in the 2014 MLB Draft. He signed for $1.5 million, avoiding the commitment of other top picks such as Will Wilson (No. 2) and Brady Aiken (No. 3).
In his only full season with the Bombers, Robertson went 9-3 with a 3.12 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, and 109:29 K:BB ratio in 131 innings. He was named to the All-Star Game after going 6-0 with a 2.11 ERA in July/August and saving four games while striking out 46 batters against just nine walks. Robertson also finished second in the AL in wins and third in save opportunities.
After missing most of 2015 due to Tommy John surgery, Robertson made 30 appearances (all in relief) in 2016, posting a 4-4 record with a 3.13 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, and 102:29 K:BB ratio in 99 innings. He saved seven games and was elected to his first Major League Baseball All-Star Game.