The Yankees to extend a qualifying offer to David Robertson

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David Robertson is gonna make a lot of money one way or the other next year. Here’s one possible way:

Another way: rejecting it and hitting the free agent market.

That has been a dicey path for some free agents recently, with guys like Kendrys Morales and Stephen Drew and Nelson Cruz taking lower-than-expected contracts and/or not even making spring training due to teams not wishing to burn a first round pick in addition to the money on the free agent.

It’s hard to say where Robertson falls on that scale. On the one hand, lots of teams experienced bullpen failures last year which harmed their chances. On the other, most teams aren’t of a mindset to go so rich on a closer that it impedes them in other areas.

Whoever winds up with Robertson will have a good pitcher, though. He saved 39 games in 44 chances while posting a 3.08 ERA and a 96/23 K/BB ratio while taking over the Yankees’ closer job from Mariano Rivera.

Jim Crane thought the heat over sign-stealing would blow over by spring training

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The Astros’ sign-stealing story broke in November, a steady drumbeat of coverage of it lasted through December and into January, when Rob Manfred’s report came out about it. The report was damning and, in its wake, Houston’s manager and general manger were both suspended and then fired.

After that a steady stream of media reports came out which not only made the whole affair seem even worse than Manfred’s report suggested, but which also suggested that, on some level, Major League Baseball had bungled it all and it was even worse than it had first seemed.

Rather than Manfred and the Astros putting this all behind them, the story grew. As it grew, both the Red Sox and Mets fired their managers and, in a few isolated media appearances, Astros’ players seemed ill-prepared for questions on it all. Once spring training began the Astros made even worse public appearances and, for the past week and change, each day has given us a new player or three angrily speaking out about how mad they are at the Astros and how poorly they’ve handled all of this.

Why have they handled it so poorly? As always, look to poor leadership:

Guess not.

In other news, Crane was — and I am not making this up — recently named the Houston Sports Executive of the Year. An award he has totally, totally earned, right?