Rangers sign David Robertson

The Rangers agree David Robertson on a one-year deal in the $11-12 million range, ESPN's Jeff Passan reports (X link). The contract is waiting for physical. John Heyman of the New York Post (X link) first reported this afternoon that Texas was showing interest in the right-hander, who represents himself.

Robertson splits the 2023 campaign between a pair of NL East clubs. He signed a one-year, $10 million contract with the Mets. Initially tagged as a setup man, he was pitched into the ninth inning by Edwin Diaz infection. Robertson's time at Queen's ended up shorter than he or the team envisaged as the club quickly dropped out of the competition. This was no fault of his, as Robertson had an excellent 40 games for the Met.

He threw 44 innings with a 2.05 ERA, striking out nearly 28% of opposing hitters. For the second summer in a row, Robertson was one of the top hires at the deadline. New York flipped him to the Marlins for a pair of low-end prospects in the minors (Marco Vargas And Ronald Hernandez).

While Miami surprisingly remained in contention and earned a Wild Card spot, Robertson was not immediately effective. He had a tough first month in South Florida, allowing 13 runs (10 earned) with six walks and 10 strikeouts over 10 innings in August. Miami moved him out of the closer role at the end of that month. Robertson responded with a much better September, striking out 19 while allowing just two runs over the final 10 1/3 frames.

Despite stumbling early in the second half, the former All-Star had another productive year. He finished the season with a 3.03 earned run average over 65 1/3 innings. Robertson fanned an above-average 29% of hitters who faced a manageable 9.3% walk rate. He missed bats in 12.6% of his total pitches.

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The Rangers have made no secret of their desire to add to the bullpen. Texas was among the early candidates for Hector Neres, arguably the highest paid unsigned relief pitcher. And they were related too Ryan Brasier A few weeks ago. Robertson, who turns 39 in April, is available on a one-year contract. Neres and Brazier both have a two-year opportunity, and Neres would likely eclipse Robertson's blanket guarantee.

Robertson is the second free agent to take an offseason game for GM Chris Young and his front office. The Rangers signed Kirby Yates For a $4.5 million deal during the winter meetings. The Texans lost three bullpen arms to free agency. Aroldis Chapman, will Smith And Chris Stratton They all landed somewhere else. That left the relief group as the shakiest part of the defending champions' roster. Robertson and Yeats joined Josh Spurs As bridge options for the nearest Jose Leclerc. Texas could still add the left-hander next Brooke Burke Converted midway through the 2023 season.

List resources Their 2024 salaries are projected to be around $210 million, not counting Robertson. It would push them into the $221-222 million range. More importantly, the deal moves them into luxury tax territory. Texas' liabilities were at approximately $231 million in bank transfer liabilities prior to this signing. That would cross the $240 million mark, surpassing the $237 million threshold. The Texans exceeded the cash transfer limit last season, so they will pay escalating fines for the second straight year of payments. The Rangers are taxed 32% on spending between $237 million and $257 million.

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Robertson's signing tax is fairly modest. It will land in the $2 million range. The most significant impact could be on future tax liabilities incurred on any further acquisitions. They've had a fairly quiet offseason amid uncertainty over their broadcast deal with Diamond Sports Group, but are gearing up for another showdown with the Astros at the top of the AL West.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports.

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