Free-agent reliever David Robertson is seeking to become the highest-paid closer in baseball history and wants a contract comparable to what Jonathan Papelbon received three years ago, reports ESPN.com’s Andrew Marchand.
Robertson turned down a one-year, $15.3 million qualifying offer from the New York Yankees last week. If he signs with another team, the Yankees will receive a draft pick in June’s draft as compensation.
According to the report, Robertson is seeking “Papelbon money” in free agency.
The Philadelphia Phillies signed Papelbon to a four-year, $50 million deal in 2011, making him the highest-paid reliever ever. If Papelbon finishes 15 games next season, he will receive a vested fifth year of his contract, worth $13 million.
Robertson, 29, went 4-5 with a 3.08 ERA, saving 39 games in 44 chances this season with the Yankees.
- CORCORAN: Kershaw, Kluber win Cy Young awards
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman has met with Robertson’s agent, Scott Leventhal, but he refused to say if he would give Robertson “Papelbon money."
"Clearly, as a free agent, he is going to maximize his value, period, whatever that turns out to be, but I wouldn't characterize it other than the fact to say he is helluva pitcher that did it in the toughest environment after the greatest player of all-time and he did it with ease,” Cashman told ESPN.com. “I would suspect that would command top dollar."
- Scooby Axson