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Yankees preferred Miller plus draft pick over closer David Robertson and never made offer

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SAN DIEGO — The New York Yankees never made an offer to re-sign closer David Robertson, preferring to add Andrew Miller and get an extra draft pick next June.

Robertson agreed late Monday to a $46 million, four-year contract with the Chicago White Sox, a person familiar with the negotiations said. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal had not been announced.

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman revealed Tuesday he had no interest in retaining Robertson once New York agreed Friday to a $36 million, four-year deal with Miller.

"The Miller acquisition with the draft pick was the best route we think and I think of moving forward, regardless of how great Robertson has been as a setup man and a closer this past year," Cashman said. "It might not be the popular decision but I think it's the best one."

When the Yankees announced Miller's agreement Friday, Cashman didn't rule out keeping Robertson.

"I wanted him to maximize his free-agent value, to be honest, not that he needs any help from me," Cashman said, "but I felt it was in his interest to get out the Yankees still (being) in it."

Cashman met Monday with Robertson's agent, Scott Leventhal.

PHOTO: FILE - In this April 3, 2014, file photo, New York Yankees closer David Robertson delivers a pitch against the Houston Astros in the ninth inning of a baseball game in Houston. Robertson is leaving the New York Yankees after one season as closer, agreeing to a $46 million, four-year contract with the Chicago White Sox, according to two people familiar with the negotiations. The people spoke on condition of anonymity Monday, Dec. 8 because the agreement had not been announced. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan, File)
FILE - In this April 3, 2014, file photo, New York Yankees closer David Robertson delivers a pitch against the Houston Astros in the ninth inning of a baseball game in Houston. Robertson is leaving the New York Yankees after one season as closer, agreeing to a $46 million, four-year contract with the Chicago White Sox, according to two people familiar with the negotiations. The people spoke on condition of anonymity Monday, Dec. 8 because the agreement had not been announced. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan, File)

"Is there a Yankee price you want me to consider?" Cashman recalled asking. "And he just said, 'If you're interested, make me an offer.'"

"They never made me an offer," Cashman added. "I never made them one."

Robertson, a right-hander who turns 30, had spent his seven-year big league career with the Yankees. He took over from Mariano Rivera as New York's closer last season and saved 39 games in 44 chances.

"I'm happy for him, because I feel like relievers get one shot usually at a long-term contract," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.

New York's remaining bullpen options include Miller, Dellin Betances, Shawn Kelley, Adam Warren and Justin Wilson. None has been a regular closer.

"We feel that our bullpen is going to be very strong again," Girardi said. "Trying to iron out a closer, that's something we'll have to do. I'm not really worried about that because of the arms that we have down there."

Robertson's exit follows Robinson Cano's departure last offseason for Seattle, which gave him a $240 million, 10-year deal. With the retirements of Rivera after the 2013 season and Derek Jeter this year, outfielder Brett Gardner becomes the Yankees' senior homegrown player.

"I would think the fan base is connected to the pinstripes and hopefully the winning teams that we always intend to put on the field," Cashman said.

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