Will David Roberston be the first to accept a qualifying offer?

Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

New York Yankees closer David Robertson may be the first player in Major League Baseball history to accept a team’s qualifying offer. I explain what qualifying offers are and why they are $15.3 million for one-year in previous post.

The program was instituted after the 2012 season and in the past two years not a single player eligible for free agency has ever accepted a club’s qualifying offer, if they even offer one.Some players who rejected their qualifying offers last season likeNelson Cruz, Ubaldo Jimenez,Stephen Drew and Kendrys Morales found themselves in a predicament.Since they rejected their offers, the team that signs them via free agency must forfeit their highest draft pick to the player’s former team if they sign the player anytime prior to the June amatuer draft.Most teams, unless they found themselves in desperate times like the Atlanta Braves who lost two of their best starters prior to the season, were not going to just give up their draft pick to sign anyone.

The Braves forfeited their a draft pick to get pitcher Ervin Santana and the Baltimore Orioles gave up two to acquire slugger Nelson Cruz and pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez.

Still handful of players saw spring training and and the seasons first three months fly by before actually find a job in mid- June. Suddenly the qualifying offer doesn’t seem so bad anymore.

Robertson, despite blowing five saves, has been good for the Yankees both over the years as Mariano Rivera‘s set-up man and as the 2014 closer. He had 39 saves and a 3.08 ERA in 63 appearances for the Yankees in 2014. An All-Star in 2012 with an ERA of 1.08 on the year Robertson has a career ERA of 2.81.

Joel Sherman of the New York Post writes,

“If Robertson told all interested teams he only wanted a one-year pact, the least he probably would receive is $10 million for 2015 and big-budget teams desperate for relief help such as the Dodgers and Tigers might go to $15 million. Remember, teams would pay a larger amount for one year than the average of a multi-year pact to avoid the risks of a long-term deal — I would rather pay $15 million for one year, than $30 million for three years, as an example.”

So if the most he’s likely to get on the free agent market is $10-15 million a year then the $15.3 million the Yankees, if they choose do choose to offer it, looks like a really good deal.

The odds are the Yankees will offer Robertson the deal and if he is smart he will take it, becoming the first player to ever accept a qualifying offer.

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