Former Alabama pitcher David Robertson signed a free agent contract with the Philadelphia Phillies on Thursday, joining former Tide teammate Tommy Hunter, and another former Bama pitcher, Adam Morgan, on the National League team. Robertson has spent the majority of his 10 year major league career with the NY Yankees, with a year two and half year hiatus with the Chicago White Sox. Robertson, who worked as his own agent, signed a two year deal, with a team option for the third year, for $10 million in year one, $11 million in year two, and $11 million in year three, with a two million dollar team option. The minimum he would receive would be $23 million.
Robertson spent several years as the set up man to Mariano Rivera in New York , and was a long time fan favorite. Robertson was one of the first set up men to make an All Star team, being so honored in 2011. The right hander took the reigns as closer in 2014 upon Rivera’s retirement, and recorded 39 saves in 44 opportunities. After the season Robertson signed as a free agent with the Chicago White Sox on a $46 million dollar, four year contract. The Paul W. Bryant High School graduate saved 34 games in 2015 and 37 games in 2016, before being traded back to the Yankees on July 18, 2017. Long a fan favorite in the Gotham City, the 5’11’ righty filled many roles in the remainder of the 2017 and the 2018 season, being brought in as early as the second inning and also closing games. In his 32 year old season in 2018 Robertson appeared in 69 games with an 8-3 recored and five saves with a 3.23 ERA, pitched 69 innings and struck out 91 batters while walking only 26.
Robertson joins his 2006 Alabama teammate Tommy Hunter and Adam Morgan (who played in Tuscaloosa in 2009, 2010, and 2011.) Robertson was drafted by the Yankees after his sophomore year in 2006 in the 17th round. He made his major league debut on June 29, 2008. Hunter was a supplemental first round pick of the Texas Rangers in 2007 and spent the early part of his career before being moved to the bull pen. Hunter signed a two year $18 million dollar free agent contract with Philadelphia in 2017. Morgan was a third round pick of the Phillies in 2011 as a starter, and was also moved to the bullpen, in 2016. Morgan is eligible for arbitration for the first time this off season. This appears to be the first time that the Crimson Tide has had three former players on the same Major League team.
Robertson career numbers are as follows: 53-32 with a 2.88 ERA and 137 saves in 657 innings pitched over 654 games with 874 strikeouts and 260 walks, with a sparkling 1.14 WHIP and excellent .205 batting average against. “D Rob”, as he is know, is also called Houdini for his propensity to wiggle out of tough jams. Robertson is married to the former Erin Cronin, and the couple have two children, a son, Luke, and a daughter, Violet. Robertson’s brother, Connor had a short major league career as a pitcher with the Mets, Athletics, and Diamondbacks.
As much success as Robertson as had on the diamond, he has had a much bigger impact off the field with his “High Socks For Hope” charity, named for the way he wears his baseball socks. After the 2011 tornado devastated Tuscaloosa, David and Erin sprung into action and began the charitable foundation. High Socks went on the also contribute to the Joplin, MO disaster just two weeks later, and have continued to offer help and wherever needed through out the United States since. The family makes their home in New Hampshire.
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