Relief market likely to pick up steam in Vegas

December 10th, 2018

LAS VEGAS -- While 's market continues to sort itself out, some other relievers could begin finding teams as the Winter Meetings get underway Monday at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.
According to sources, interest in has heated up, with at least a half-dozen teams expressing serious interest in the veteran reliever. The Mets and Red Sox have been connected to Robertson in recent days, but the Dodgers have emerged as a potential suitor, a source said.
Hot Stove news, rumors
Los Angeles is seeking to bulk up the back end of its bullpen leading up to closer , making Robertson a nice fit.
Beyond Kimbrel, the relief market is stocked with accomplished arms, including Zach Britton, , , , , , , , Joe Kelly and .
Two executives believe that while the baseball world waits breathlessly for Manny Machado and to sign their mega-deals, the relief market could start moving as early as this week.
The starting pitching market, which lagged a year ago while relievers snapped up new deals, has been the one to move quickly this year. landed a $140 million deal from the Nationals, while signed a four-year deal worth $68 million to return to the Red Sox, who will formally introduce the pitcher at a Las Vegas press conference on Monday.
Kimbrel is the premier closer on the free-agent market, though he's looking for a deal in the /Jansen range of more than $75 million. The rest of the relievers aren't expected to score deals of that magnitude, so teams might start plucking them off the board to bolster their bullpens.

The Red Sox would seem to be a natural fit for Robertson, who has pitched the majority of his career in the American League East with the Yankees, including going 8-3 with a 3.23 ERA and five saves in 69 games with New York in 2018. Robertson lives in Rhode Island, so geographically, Boston makes perfect sense. With Kimbrel expected to sign elsewhere and Kelly no lock to return, the Red Sox will likely look to add two bullpen arms in the coming weeks, with Robertson, Miller and Britton all possibilities.
The Yankees are also a potential destination for Robertson. He pitched in the Bronx from 2008-14 before signing a four-year, $46 million deal with the White Sox in December 2014, then returning to the Yanks in a July 2017 trade. But New York is also said to be interested in Ottavino and possibly Miller, leaving many doors open to add to their late-inning combination of and Chapman.

As of Sunday, the only notable free-agent relievers to sign were (Rangers, two years, $8 million) and (Nationals, one year, $7 million), the latter of whom missed all of 2018 following Tommy John surgery.