SAN DIEGO – The White Sox and right-handed reliever David Robertson made their four-year, $46 million deal official Wednesday. Terms call for Robertson to receive $10 million in 2015, $11 million in 2016, $12 million in 2017 and $13 million in 2018.
Robertson, 29, went 4-5 with a 3.08 ERA with 39 saves and 96 strikeouts in 63 relief appearances with the Yankees in 2014, his first season as their closer.
“David fills an immediate need in the back end of our bullpen, and we feel he will be an important piece to our pitching staff for the next four seasons” Sox general manager Rick Hahn said. “David had an excellent 2014 season in the difficult role of replacing arguably the greatest closer in history in Mariano Rivera, and before that he established himself as one of the top setup men in the game.”
Robertson owns a career record of 25-19 with a 2.81 ERA. He has averaged 11.99 strikeouts per nine innings pitched during his career and is the only pitcher in history to record at least 10 strikeouts per nine innings in each of his first seven major-league seasons.
The Sox traded for right-handed starter Jeff Samardzija and signed Robertson, the top closer on the free-agent market, on Monday night. Last month, they signed first baseman Adam LaRoche and lefty reliever Zach Duke. Those four additions should put them in contention in the AL Central.
“It creates excitement for the fans definitely and also the players,” Sox manager Robin Ventura said.
“The last couple years has been tough going for the fans but all of a sudden you see the players — we got Eaton and Abreu in the mix last year –and now you’re looking at some arms. The players get excited knowing what you’re going to play alongside of, that you have a shot.”