The Philadelphia Phillies finally landed the high-leverage arm they sought this offseason, signing right-handed relief pitcher David Robertson to a two-year deal Thursday.

Robertson, who will turn 34 in April, had a 3.23 ERA last season in 69 games with the New York Yankees and struck out 11.8 batters per nine innings. The ever-consistent Robertson has pitched 60 or more innings in each of the last nine seasons and never has registered a strikeout rate lower than 10.4. His career strikeout rate, 11.97, is the best among pitchers with at least 600 innings pitched.

Robertson was an All-Star in 2011 and has spent his entire 11-year career in the American League.

He has experience as a closer, but most of his work last season came in the seventh and eighth innings. The Phillies expect to use him as their top right-handed option for key outs in any of the late innings. Manager Gabe Kapler doesn’t want a traditional closer in his bullpen, and Robertson’s ability to pitch in various late-inning situations was an attraction.

Robertson, who represented himself this winter after parting ways with his agent, will earn $10 million in 2019 and $11 million in 2020.

The Phillies can exercise a $12 million club option for 2021.

INDIANS: Looking to rebuild its bullpen, Cleveland 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.


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