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.

Aaron Judge out of Yankees starting lineup for finale after No. 62

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
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ARLINGTON, Texas — Yankees slugger Aaron Judge wasn’t in the starting lineup for New York’s regular-season finale, a day after his 62nd home run that broke Roger Maris’ 61-year-old American League single-season record.

When Judge homered in the first inning Tuesday night, in the second game of a doubleheader against the Texas Rangers, it was his 55th consecutive game. He has played in 157 games overall for the AL East champions.

With the first-round bye in the playoffs, the Yankees won’t open postseason play until the AL Division Series starts next Tuesday.

Even though Judge had indicated that he hoped to play Wednesday, manager Aaron Boone said after Tuesday night’s game that they would have a conversation and see what made the most sense.

“Short conversation,” Boone said before Wednesday’s game, adding that he was “pretty set on probably giving him the day today.”

Asked if there was a scenario in which Judge would pinch hit, Boone responded, “I hope not.”

Judge went into the final day of the regular season batting .311, trailing American League batting average leader Minnesota’s Luis Arraez, who was hitting .315. Judge was a wide leader in the other Triple Crown categories, with his 62 homers and 131 RBIs.

Boone said that “probably the one temptation” to play Judge had been the long shot chance the slugger had to become the first AL Triple Crown winner since Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera in 2012.