Trade Central: Phillies Add David Robertson, Cubs Get Ben Brown
The Cubs' sell off of veteran assets continued on Aug. 2 with a move that sent veteran reliever David Robertson to the Phillies. In return, the Cubs received the Phillies' No. 7 prospect, righthander Ben Brown.
David Robertson, RHP
Robertson has been one of the most reliable and durable relievers of the 21st century. Now he’ll return to the one team for which he struggled. In 2019, Robertson signed with the Phillies as a free agent. He battled a sore elbow that eventually required Tommy John surgery in 2020. That injury-affected stretch with the Phillies is the only subpar season in a relief career that began in 2008. Robertson has been his usual effective self this year, going 3-0, 2.23 with a 3.51 FIP this year. He’s striking out 11.4 per nine and walking 4.2 per nine. Robertson’s 92-94 mph cut fastball and mid-80s breaking ball remain effective, and he should give the Phillies reliable late-inning relief help.
Ben Brown, RHP
Brown is one of the best and most surprising stories of the 2022 MiLB season. A 2017 draftee, Brown threw less than 30 innings in a three-year stretch from 2019-2021 thanks to the coronavirus pandemic and Tommy John surgery. The Phillies did not protect him for the 2021 Rule 5 Draft, a decision that proved prescient when that Rule 5 draft was wiped away by the lockout. This offseason, he’ll be an equally easy decision to add to the 40-man roster. His stuff took a big step forward this year, as he now sits 94-97 with a four-seam and two-seam fastball. He also throws a plus mid-80s slider and will mix in a below-average curve as well. With two plus pitches (fastball and slider) and improving control, Brown has paths to the big leagues as both a power reliever or mid-rotation starter.