The first significant move of what will be a busy offseason for the Yankees comes Monday when the club is expected to extend a qualifying offer to closer David Robertson.
Robertson will have a week to accept or decline the offer, which this year is $15.3 million. He and 120 others in the sport officially became free agents on Thursday.
No free agent to date has accepted a qualifying offer since its origin in 2012, but Robertson might be tempted to become the first. Although he is likely to command a good deal of attention as a free agent — the righthander is by far the best reliever available — Robertson is unlikely to get a deal with an average annual value approaching the $15.3 million he would make by accepting the offer.
If Robertson, 29, declines the offer, he and the Yankees still could work out some kind of long-term deal. If he signs elsewhere — such as with free-spending Detroit, which has had closer issues in recent seasons — the Yankees will receive a draft pick as compensation.