Could David Robertson become the first to accept a qualifying offer?

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Joel Sherman of the New York Post suggests that Yankees closer David Robertson could become the first player to accept a qualifying offer. The value of a qualifying offer made this off-season will be $15.3 million, which was derived by averaging the top 125 contracts in baseball. A player given a qualifying offer can either accept it to continue another year with the same team, or reject it to head into free agency.

Sherman argues that rejecting the qualifying offer has hurt middle-tier free agents, citing Kendrys Morales and Stephen Drew as examples. Nelson Cruz would fit as well. If Robertson rejects the Yankees’ qualifying offer, teams will be reluctant to give up a first-round pick (or, for teams who finished with one of the ten worst records, a sandwich pick) for a reliever, as relievers are very tough to predict on a year-to-year basis. Sherman adds that if Robertson accepts the qualifying offer, the Yankees will be more likely to negotiate a multi-year deal.

In 2014, Robertson performed well taking over the closer’s role from Mariano Rivera, who retired. Over 64 1/3 innings, Robertson saved 39 games in 44 chances while posting a 3.08 ERA and a 96/23 K/BB ratio.