The Chicago White Sox and right-handed reliever David Robertson have agreed to terms on a four-year, $46-million contract. Under terms of the deal, Robertson will 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 (22 ER/64.1 IP), 39 saves and 96 strikeouts in 63 relief appearances with the Yankees in 2014, his first season as their closer. The 5-foot-11, 195-pound Robertson ranked third among American League relievers in saves and fifth in strikeouts, strikeouts per 9.0 IP (13.43) and save percentage (88.6, 39-44).
He held opponents to a .192 (45-234) average, including a .157 (20-127) mark by left-handers, and converted 22 consecutive save opportunities from June 3-August 23.
"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" said Rick Hahn, White Sox senior vice president/general manager. "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, a native of Birmingham, Ala., owns a career record of 25-19 with a 2.81 ERA (123 ER/393.1 IP), 116 holds, 47 saves and 524 strikeouts in 402 games (all in relief) over seven seasons with the Yankees. He has averaged 11.99 strikeouts per 9.0 IP during his career and is the only pitcher in history to record at least 10.0 strikeouts per 9.0 IP in each of his first seven major-league seasons.
Robertson tied for the major-league lead with 97 holds from 2011-13, recording 30 or more each season. His best season came in 2011 when he went 4-0 with a 1.08 ERA (8 ER/66.2 IP), 34 holds and 100 strikeouts and was named to the AL All-Star Team. Robertson appeared in 19 postseason games with the Yankees from 2009-12, going 3-0 with a 3.71 ERA (7 ER/17.0 IP) and 17 strikeouts.
Robertson originally was selected by the Yankees in the 17th round of the 2006 draft out of the University of Alabama. His brother, Connor, pitched in nine games with Oakland and Arizona during the 2007-08 seasons.
With the move, the White Sox 40-man roster is at 39.