Ahead of today's qualifying offer deadline, the Yankees have offered closer David Robertson the $15.3 million deal over one season. To this point, no MLB player has accepted the qualifying offer and it is unfathomable that Robertson would be the first. Watching bullpen after bullpen melt down in the postseason pretty much ensures that Robertson will receive a hefty contract for his services this offseason. He's managed to be one of the most consistent relievers around baseball the last few seasons, and he managed to seamlessly fill the role vacated by the retired Mariano Rivera. That's no easy task, to say the least. Robertson was great as the Yankees' closer in 2014, and his brilliance allowed the emergence of Dellin Betances in the setup role where he thrived.
Robertson was the only Yankee to receive the qualifying offer, with the only other player eligible to receive one being Hiroki Kuroda. Perhaps the Yankees think he will retire or pitch in Japan next season. Otherwise, it seems like the Yankees would only want him back on a one-year deal that was less than the $15.3 million of the qualifying offer. If they have bigger plans like Max Scherzer or Jon Lester, it could mean that they just don't find Kuroda to be a priority for their rotation in 2015. The lack of a qualifying offer is good for any team that may sign Kuroda in the offseason, as he won't require giving up a draft pick. That might be enough for a team to offer him a contract that keeps him out of retirement for at least one more season.
Hopefully the Yankees realize that there is little chance of Robertson taking the qualifying offer when he can receive so much more on the open market. It's difficult to find a reliever with as much sustained dominance as Robertson has exhibited, and they would be foolish to let him get away if they can manage to get ahead of other teams before the bidding gets too high. Keeping Robertson means maximizing the value of Betances by not locking him into the ninth inning. This team is undoubtedly better with Robertson than it is without him.