How Might David Robertson’s Phillies Deal Affect Craig Kimbrel, Red Sox?

Just like that, one of the top free agent relievers is off the board.

All-Star reliever David Robertson has agreed to sign with the Philadelphia Phillies, according to multiple reports.

MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reported Robertson’s contract is a two-year deal that’ll guarantee him at least $23 million. It reportedly comes with a $12 million club option (or $2 million buyout) for 2021.

Robertson confirmed to Feinsand that he was heading to Philly.

“Philly really checked off all the boxes for me,” Robertson told MLB.com. “They are hungry to get back to the postseason and win. They have a great fan base, a beautiful ballpark and a special focus on charity. They’ve put together a great squad and I think I can bring a lot to the team in the back end of their bullpen.”

This development should be of interest to the Boston Red Sox for a couple of reasons: First, the Red Sox were thought to be very much in on Robertson and were considered one of the favorites to sign the veteran right-hander. Obviously, that didn’t work out, and Boston remains in the mix for other relievers, according to reports.

One of those relievers, presumably, is Craig Kimbrel. The hard-throwing right-hander is the top closer on the market and reportedly would like his contract to reflect that. However, it doesn’t seem like there’s an enormous market for Kimbrel, which has some speculating a return to the Red Sox could be in order.

It’s likely that speculation will only intensify now that Robertson has picked the Phillies. According to a report from ESPN’s Jeff Passan, Philadelphia had interest in Kimbrel, too. It’s unclear whether the Robertson agreement completely removes Philadelphia from the Kimbrel sweepstakes, but it wouldn’t be shocking for the Phillies to bow out after nabbing Robertson.

If that’s the case, it would appear the Red Sox are well-positioned to execute their reported strategy of waiting to see what Kimbrel could earn on the open market and go from there.

Thumbnail photo via Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports Images

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