Robertson enjoying free-agent talks as own rep

November 15th, 2018

has plenty of experience closing games on the mound, but this winter, he's looking to close in a completely different forum.

The free-agent reliever is representing himself after parting ways with his longtime agent, Scott Leventhal. Robertson, who will be pitching in his age-34 season in 2019, has fielded calls and texts from more than a half-dozen general managers since he hit the market.

"I've enjoyed a lot of the conversations I've had with the GMs," Robertson said. "A lot of GMs have been feeling me out to see where I'm at. It's been interesting. It's definitely exciting. It hasn't gotten stressful because we haven't put numbers and years on paper yet."

Those will surely come, but for now, Robertson's information-gathering has focused on the role teams envision him filling and what the roster makeup looks like. Another important issue for him and his wife, Erin: "How's the family room situation?"

Robertson owns a 2.88 career ERA over 11 seasons with the Yankees and White Sox, saving 124 games between 2014-17. In 2018, he struck out 11.8 batters per nine innings, only a smidge lower than his career average of 12.

The right-hander is seeking a three-year deal that would take him through his age-36 campaign.

The relief market moved quicker than any other last year, so while Robertson could opt to wait for another reliever or two to sign deals and establish a market, he seems prepared to sign someplace if the right deal presents itself.

"I feel like I'm in my prime and I'm ready to go for another three years," Robertson said. "We're trying to just go with the flow. This is my first time representing myself, so I'm taking it slow and weighing my options."

Astros could lose assistant GM, bench coach

The Astros have seen executives Mike Fast and Sig Mejdal depart since the end of the season, while the coaching staff has been raided with hitting coach Dave Hudgens, assistant hitting coach Jeff Albert and bullpen coach Doug White all moving on to other clubs.

Assistant general manager Mike Elias is expected to be announced as the Orioles' new general manager in the coming days, another hit to the front office. That could very well impact manager AJ Hinch's staff, as well.

Sources say Astros bench coach Joe Espada is expected to be a serious candidate to manage the Orioles. Espada, who interviewed with four clubs for managerial vacancies this offseason, has eight years of experience coaching on big league staffs, having served as the third-base coach for the Yankees (2015-17) and Marlins (2010-13).

Garcia a White Sox non-tender candidate?

The White Sox continue to shop outfielder , who is eligible for his final year of arbitration and will be a free agent at the end of 2019.

An All-Star in 2017, Garcia fell flat this past season, his .236/.281/.438 slash line representing a steep drop from the .330/.380/.506 line he posted the previous year.

"The White Sox missed their chance to trade him," one executive said.

Garcia, who earned $6.7 million in 2018 after beating the White Sox in an arbitration hearing, is expected to get a raise via arbitration for the upcoming season.. Unless Chicago plans to sign Garcia to an extension -- which, according to a source, seems unlikely -- the more plausible scenario is that the White Sox non-tender the 27-year-old if they're unable to find a trade partner.