Robertson and White Sox finalize $46 million deal
SAN DIEGO (AP) David Robertson is looking forward to playing with Jeff Samardzija on the new-look Chicago White Sox.
Chicago announced a $46 million, four-year contract with Robertson on Wednesday, giving the White Sox a sorely needed presence at the back end of their bullpen after they had 21 blown saves last season, tied for seventh most in the majors.
The deal with the closer, who turns 30 in April, is the latest move in a busy offseason for general manager Rick Hahn and Chicago, which went 73-89 and finished fourth in the AL Central this year. The White Sox also signed reliever Zach Duke and first baseman Adam LaRoche, and then bolstered their rotation by acquiring Samardzija in a trade with Oakland on Tuesday.
''I love what Rick Hahn has been doing this offseason,'' Robertson said on a conference call. ''I like the moves he's making with getting LaRoche and Zach Duke and the trade for Samardzija. I feel like he's building a good squad that's really going to be a competitor next year and I'm hoping that we end up back in the playoffs.''
Robertson said he found out about the Samardzija deal when reporters heard the news.
''When our deal went down it was nice to hear that he was going to be there, too,'' he said. ''He's a strong competitor, he's got a great arm and I like the way he approaches the game when he takes the mound.''
Robertson gets $10 million next year, $11 million in 2016, $12 million in 2017 and $13 million in 2018 under the agreement announced Wednesday. The right-hander was 4-5 with a 3.08 ERA and 39 saves this year, when he took over as the New York Yankees' closer following Mariano Rivera's retirement.
''I've had a wonderful time playing with the New York Yankees and I made some great friendships and relationships that will last years after baseball, and it's been a great opportunity,'' Robertson said. ''But now I'm looking forward to the next chapter.''
Robertson said he figured he probably would not be returning to New York after it reached a $36 million, four-year contract with lefty reliever Andrew Miller on Friday.
''I wasn't surprised. It is a business and the Yankees had to do what they had to do,'' he said. ''Obviously, when they signed Miller I kind of had a feeling they might not approach us as well as we would have liked.''
As part of the contract with Chicago, Robertson cannot be traded without his consent to the New York Mets, Detroit, the Los Angeles Dodgers, Oakland or Philadelphia.
''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,'' Hahn said.
Robertson would get a $25,000 bonus is he's the starting pitcher in the All-Star game and $15,000 if he's selected for the game. He also would get $100,000 for World Series, $75,000 for League Championship Series MVP, $25,000 for a Gold Glove and $50,000 for making The Sporting News all-star team. He also would get $100,000 each for winning MVP or Cy Young, $90,000 for second, $80,000 for third, $70,000 for fourth and $60,000 for fifth.