New York Yankees News: Aroldis Chapman Confirmed As Yankees Closer

New York Yankees news reveals that Aroldis Chapman will be the closer for the 2016 MLB season. The Yankees acquired Chapman from the Cincinnati Reds earlier in the offseason, getting him at a discount due to some off-field problems Chapman was dealing with. A report from on Monday, January 11, quotes Yankees manager Joe Girardi as he discussed the bullpen situation. He laid out exactly how the bullpen will work for the 2016 MLB season.

Girardi states that Dellin Betances will work the seventh inning and Andrew Miller will take over the eighth inning work. Betances and Miller have each served as the closer for the Yankees before, giving the team a lot of depth in the bullpen. It’s possible that roles could shift depending on when rest is needed, or due to match-ups, but Girardi appears set with how he will approach things in Spring Training. That’s a big change from the Yankees’ Spring Training in 2015.

Revealing this New York Yankees news in January gives fans something they didn’t have last season. As Spring Training began in 2015, Joe Girardi stated that he hadn’t decided whether Dellin Betances or Andrew Miller would be the closer for the Yankees. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Miller was named as the closer for the team, but on June 10 he was placed on the disabled list. That allowed Betances a chance to show what he could do in the ninth inning. Both pitchers found a lot of success as the closer for the Yankees.

Dellin Betances With Yankees
(Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

Dellin Betances finished the 2015 MLB season with a 1.50 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, and nine saves in 84 innings pitched. He also had a 6-4 record and 131 strikeouts in that time, posting numbers that were good enough to put him on the American League All-Star team. Andrew Miller pitched 61 2/3 innings, putting up a 2.04 ERA, a 0.86 WHIP, and 36 saves during his time on the mound. Miller also had 100 strikeouts during his innings, giving the Yankees a huge advantage when the team had a lead in the eighth or ninth innings.

Highlighting the New York Yankees’ news this past offseason was acquiring Aroldis Chapman from the Cincinnati Reds for minor leaguers Rookie Davis, Eric Jagielo, and Tony Renda, and Caleb Cotham. Chapman, considered one of the best closers in Major League Baseball, had made the All-Star team for a fourth-consecutive year. He posted a 1.63 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, and 116 strikeouts over just 66 1/3 innings of work. During four years as the closer for the Reds, he converted 146-of-164 saves (89 percent). He now gives the Yankees a third relief pitcher who could strike out the side late in games.

If the backend of the bullpen for the New York Yankees can pitch up to its potential, they could be considered one of the best bullpens in MLB history. Many baseball fans have already compared this group to the “Nasty Boys” from the Cincinnati Reds in 1990. That bullpen had Randy Myers, Rob Dibble, and Norm Charlton pitching the final three innings of most games. With three great arms in the bullpen, the Reds went all the way to the World Series and swept the heavily favored Oakland Athletics to win the title.

Andrew Miller With Yankees
(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

While there still may be a lot of questions about the starting rotation and aging offense of the Yankees, some key additions this offseason already have fans hoping for another American League East title. In addition to the trade for Aroldis Champman, the Yankees also acquired second baseman Starlin Castro from the Chicago Cubs. If the lineup has a healthy outfield of Brett Gardner, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Carlos Beltran, the team could be heading right back to the MLB Playoffs. There are still a few New York Yankees rumors about the team improving its starting rotation, but the end of the bullpen is set.

[Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images]