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.
The Cincinnati Reds have popped up in rumors for a lot of players that one would not normally expect. Free agents like Dallas Keuchel and, earlier, Patrick Corbin. Trade bait like Yasiel Puig. I’m not sure how serious any of that pursuit has been. Maybe it’s just P.R.-driven noise aimed at making Reds fans think the team is going for it or whatever, but it’s been kind of fun. The Reds have, basically, been that guy who shows up in everyone’s photos from the party even though no one knows who he came with or why he was there.
The latest hot stove photobomb for the Reds is Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto. Craig Mish of SiriusXM reports that they have “jumped into” his trade market.
There seems to be some room to jump, as the talks with the Mets are perceived to have cooled off in the past 24 hours. It’s also the case that the Reds are far more likely to be able to improve via a trade than via the free agent market, as the Reds aren’t as attractive a landing spot as a lot as some other places. Still, given that the Marlins are the trading partner, it will almost certainly cost a lot in prospects or young big league talent to get Realmuto and that’s the sort of talent the Reds should not be in the business of giving up, so it’s hard to see a match.
But hey, the party is fun. Why not hang out for a while?