David Robertson of the Yankees reacts after getting the last...

David Robertson of the Yankees reacts after getting the last out of a game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Yankee Stadium on Saturday, April 26, 2014. Credit: Jim McIsaac

Will David Robertson become the first player ever to accept MLB's qualifying offer?

The Yankees, as expected, extended one to the closer Monday afternoon, a one-year contract worth $15.3 million.

In terms of average annual value, that is more than what Robertson, 29, is likely to get on the open market. But with the number of teams searching for quality bullpen arms, Robertson, who excelled in 2014 after replacing Mariano Rivera, probably will want to at least explore what kind of multiyear offers are out there.

Robertson, who was 39-for-44 in save chances and had a 3.08 ERA, has until Monday to accept or decline the offer. If he signs elsewhere, the Yankees will receive a draft pick as compensation. If he declines the qualifying offer, that will not preclude him and the Yankees from agreeing on a multiyear deal.

The value of the qualifying offer is determined annually by averaging the top 125 player salaries from the previous year. This is the third year the system has been in place.

Although they are aware that if Dellin Betances took over as closer, it would go over well with their fans, the Yankees know their bullpen would be far better with Robertson than without him. Power arms in the back end of a bullpen never have been more important, with the recent World Series Exhibit A.

The American League champion Royals had the best seventh-eighth-ninth-inning combination in the sport. When Kansas City had a lead, Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis and Greg Holland essentially allowed Ned Yost to shorten games to six innings.

Although Madison Bumgarner stole the show in the postseason, the world champion Giants featured a lockdown bullpen that featured Jeremy Affeldt, Yusmeiro Petit, Sergio Romo and closer Santiago Casilla.

"It's becoming a totally different game," four-time world champion starter Jack Morris said before the Series.

Although the Yankees' bullpen wasn't quite as deep as those of the World Series teams, their eighth- and ninth-inning combination of Betances and Robertson was as good as anyone's.

Betances posted a 1.40 ERA in 70 appearances, striking out 135 in 90 innings. But general manager Brian Cashman knows there are no assurances when a setup man graduates to the closer's role.

"To be a closer in New York is not easy," Cashman said last month. "It's not just that kind of role you can guarantee someone can easily transition to. The ninth inning is different."

That's not to say the Yankees wouldn't turn to Betances if necessary. "He's been awesome and clearly has potential to do the job," Cashman said.

Robertson was the only one of the Yankees' free agents to receive the qualifying offer. Hiroki Kuroda did not. They have long expected Kuroda, 39, to retire or return to Japan next year.

Chris Capuano, Rich Hill, Ichiro Suzuki, Chase Headley, Brandon McCarthy and Chris Young also did not receive the offer. The Yankees would like to retain Headley and McCarthy, but they were ineligible for qualifying offers because they were acquired in midseason trades.

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