Chicago Cubs trade veterans David Robertson, Mychal Givens

Chicago Cubs trade veterans David Robertson, Mychal Givens

David Robertson has another chance with the Philadelphia Phillies

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He never had the chance of becoming the high-leverage reliever he was hoping to be before signing a two year, $23million contract. Seven appearances into that season, Robertson suffered an arm injury that required Tommy John surgery, and he didn’t throw another pitch in a Phillies uniform.

Robertson will have another chance to prove himself to the Phillies after he was traded Tuesday by the Cubs to the Phillies in exchange for Ben Brown, a pitching prospect.

Brown, 22, was recently promoted to the Phillies’ Double-A affiliate after recording a 3.08 ERA in 16 games (15 starts) at High A Jersey Shore. Baseball America’s midseason rankings had him seventh in the Phillies system.

Robertson wasn’t the only Cubs reliever on the move Tuesday. Mychal Givens, a veteran right-hander, was traded to New York Mets just minutes before the deadline of 5:59 p.m.

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The Cubs’ 32-year-old Givens posted a 2.66 ERA with two saves in 40 games. They also targeted veteran pitchers to bolster their pitching staff and potentially create trade-deadline leverage.

Givens hasn’t allowed an earned run since June 14, a stretch of 16 games (17⅓ innings). In that time span, the hitters are batting at.186 with just two extra-base hits to Givens.

Robertson seemed excited about the possibility that the Phillies might reunite when he spoke with the Tribune last month.

“I know a lot of people there; it would be great,”He said. “It’d be nice to pitch there after being so excited to go there. My body just let me down. It was a great spot for that contract. I was like, ‘This is perfect. I’m going to get to maybe be the ninth-inning guy, eighth inning, high leverage,’ and then my elbow blew out. It was frustrating.”

Robertson’s bet on himself paid off.

The surgery cost him two seasons. However, the 37-yearold has regained his form after this year’s surgery. For his first big-league action since April 2019, he played 12 games for the Tampa Bay Rays in 2021.

Robertson represented himself in contract negotiations and wanted to find the right match. It led to a one-year, $3.5 million deal — including up to $1.5 million in incentives — with the Cubs in March.

And now he’s on the move to a playoff contender.

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Robertson reestablished his status as one of the league’s best late-inning relievers. He posted a 2.23 ERA, 1.041 WHIP, 189 ERA+ and 14 saves over 40⅓ innings in 36 appearances.

Before last week’s series opener in San Francisco, Robertson reflected on how he would look back on his four months with the Cubs if he was traded.

“I got another opportunity and got a deal that I thought was favorable to me and I thought it was a pretty fair shake at it to rebound back into my career,”Robertson said. “I can’t thank the Cubs enough, and I’ll continue to play hard as long as I’m a Cub. … I’ve had a great time. Wrigley’s an unbelievable place to play baseball. It’s nice to be on the home side and not on the road side.”

He finally fulfilled his dream to hit in a major-league game, when David Ross allowed him to pinch hit against the Pirates in Pittsburgh on June 22. Robertson was able to swing on a full-count pitch by Diego Castillo, the Pirates’ infielder.

Ross stayed away from naming a closer at the start of the season, but it became obvious that Robertson was the right man for the job. Robertson converted 14 out of 19 save opportunities, his highest since 2017.

His 33 postseason relief appearances made Robertson a valuable commodity prior to the trade deadline. Robertson owns a 3.11 ERA and 1.062 WHIP in 37⅔ postseason innings, which includes a World Series title in 2009 with the New York Yankees.

Rowan Wick may be able to leverage more and save more money if Givens and Robertson depart.

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