The offseason marches on, and as we barrel toward the new year Bryce Harper and Manny Machado -- among others -- are still on the board. To give you an idea of the buzz that's out there on Friday, we're here to round up all the notable trade and free-agency rumors. As always, our Free-Agent Tracker is a great way to catch up on what's already happened on that front. Now let's jump in ...
Halos interested in Robertson
The Angels once again aspire to contend around Mike Trout in 2019, but in order to do that GM Billy Eppler will need to plug a number of roster holes. On the rotation front, Eppler has already brought in Matt Harvey and Trevor Cahill, but right now he's set to open the season with Ty Buttrey in the closer's role. That reality brings us to this nugget:
Source: #Angels interested in free agent reliever David Robertson, who knows Angels GM Billy Eppler from their time together with #Yankees. Robertson is said to prefer teams in Northeast, but he’d also like the opportunity to close — which is what he could have in Anaheim. @MLB— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) December 28, 2018
Robertson, who turns 34 in early April, is coming off a 2018 season in which he pitched to a 3.23 ERA/136 ERA+ and a 3.50 K/BB ratio in 69 2/3 innings for the Yankees. For his career, Robertson owns an ERA+ of 147 across parts of 11 big-league seasons. With 137 saves to his credit, he also has closing experience.
Phillies unwilling to go five with Keuchel
The Phillies -- flush with cash and looking to contend in 2019 -- came up short in their efforts to sign Patrick Corbin, who wound up inking with the division-rival Nationals. While keeping one eye on Manny Machado, they've now turned their attentions to another coveted lefty starter: Dallas Keuchel. Right now, though, they may be at an impasse with the former Astro.
Sources: #Phillies pursuing Dallas Keuchel but thus far have been unwilling to meet Keuchel's request of a 5-year contract. @MLB @MLBNetwork— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) December 28, 2018
Keuchel is coming off a 2018 season in Houston in which he topped 200 innings and put up an ERA+ of 108 and won the Gold Glove for the fourth time in his career. Keuchel of course won the AL Cy Young award in 2015, and over the last half decade he's got an ERA+ of 121. Moving forward, he projects as more of a No. 2/strong No. 3 guy as opposed to an ace, which is in part why the Phillies are hesitant to commit to him through his age-35 season. They're hoping the market knocks him down to four years.
The Phillies remain in search of a reliable starter to slot in with Aaron Nola and Jake Arrieta. You could certainly argue that Keuchel is the best starter left standing.
Yanks, Crew talking Gray
The Yankees are known to be shopping right-hander Sonny Gray, and the Brewers are in the market for rotation help. So ...
Source: #Brewers remain prominent in Sonny Gray talks with #Yankees. #Reds were involved earlier this offseason but have faded somewhat due to additions of Wood and Roark. @MLB @MLBNetwork— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) December 28, 2018
Gray struggled last season in the Bronx, but his overall body of work remains solid. As well, he's still not 30 years of age. Put him in a less pressurized environment with a new set of coaching eyes, and he could resume being somewhere between solid and good. Gray's going into his walk year, so he could presumably be obtained for a modest return. The Yankees have a full rotation after dealing for James Paxton and re-upping with J.A. Happ, and GM Brian Cashman has made no secret of his wish to trade Gray. As for the Brewers, they may stand to lose Wade Miley to free agency.
Jays ink Shoemaker
According to multiple reports, the Blue Jays have agreed to terms with right-hander Matt Shoemaker on a $3.5 million contract for 2019, plus incentives. Shoemaker, 32, put up a 4.94 ERA for the Angels last season, and he was limited to just seven starts because of forearm problems. For his career, he owns an ERA+ of 99 across parts of six major-league seasons. The Angels, despite little rotation depth at the time, non-tendered Shoemaker earlier this offseason.
The signing of Shoemaker could be a prelude to trade activity on Toronto's part. Rumors have swirled about Marcus Stroman and Aaron Sanchez this offseason, and Shoemaker could absorb some of those missing starts should the Jays deal away one or both of those arms.