New York Yankees rumors link the team to closer Aroldis Champman in a positive way. The Yankees are looking for bullpen help through MLB free agency, and Chapman might be at the top of the list (again). A report by the New York Post was released on Tuesday (Nov. 22) that sheds some positive light on the situation.
Chapman was traded to the Chicago Cubs midway through the 2016 MLB season in a deal that netted the franchise Rashad Crawford (minors), Billy McKinney (minors), Gleyber Torres (minors), and pitcher Adam Warren. Chapman had been in the final year of his contract, so the Yankees parted ways with him in order to improve the Minor League system even further. Chapman appears to have no ill feelings about the trade, especially since he won a World Series ring with the Cubs.
“I would love to be a Yankee again. This is a business, and the Yankees know that. They took a chance on me, and I will always be grateful. The organization treated me first class. And the fans were like no other.”
Those are the words that Aroldis Chapman spoke in a recent interview and why the latest New York Yankees rumors seem to have a lot of merit to them. While with the Yankees for half a season, Chapman pitched 31 and one-third innings over 31 appearances. He had 20 saves, a 2.01 ERA, a 3-0 record, and a 0.894 WHIP to his credit. Chapman was even better with the Cubs, which is why he could also return to Chicago.
Aroldis Chapman is going to be 29-years-old at the beginning of the 2017 MLB season, likely predicting that he is going to get a long-term deal worth a lot of money. Chapman made just over $11.3 million in base salary this past season, so it is also very likely that he will see a raise in his yearly pay. That prices him out of the market for many franchises, but the New York Yankees and Chicago Cubs don’t have that problem.
In seven seasons, Aroldis Chapman has pitched in 383 games, posting a 2.08 ERA and 0.992 WHIP for his career. He has also averaged 15.2 strikeouts per nine innings and has saved 89.7 percent of his opportunities. Though he is still very young in terms of being a Major League relief pitcher, many baseball analysts are already listing him among the best closers to ever take the mound.
While there are a lot of New York Yankees rumors linking the team to big-name hitters like Edwin Encarnacion, Jose Bautista, and Yoenis Cespedes, the team still needs to address its bullpen. No official offer has been made by the Yankees according to general manager Brian Cashman, nor has a salary demand been made by the people representing Chapman. The two sides have reportedly talked several times, though, suggesting that an offer could be coming in the near future.
An earlier report by Sports Illustrated stated that the Washington Nationals could be a team looking to sign Chapman. It was thought that he could stabilize the ninth inning for the Nationals while keeping him away from other National League opponents. The Los Angeles Dodgers have also been mentioned in MLB stories about possible destinations for Chapman, adding another team with deep pockets to the discussion.
One of the big questions of this free agency period will be how much money Aroldis Chapman can get from the highest bidder. Some baseball analysts have suggested this could mean a deal worth about $100 million over five years. Paying $20 million per season for a closer would set a record in Major League Baseball, though, possibly scaring off a New York Yankees front office trying to rebuild.
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