Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic has reported that Yankees closer, Aroldis Chapman, intends to opt-out his current deal with the Bombers following the 2019 season. However, Chapman has called Rosenthal’s findings “false.”
Following his championship season with the Chicago Cubs in 2016, Aroldis Chapman returned to the Yankees after playing the first half of 2016 in pinstripes, by signing a 5-year, $86 million contract with an opt-out clause after three seasons.
Therefore, if Chapman were to stay in the Bronx, he’d be making roughly $15 million per season in 2020 and 2021, respectively.
Craig Kimbrel just recently signed a three-year deal with the Cubs that makes him roughly $16 million a year over the next four seasons, and in turn, the third highest-paid closer in the game, behind the Rockies Wade Davis ($18 million per year) and the Dodgers Kenley Jansen ($19,333,334 per year).
Chapman is undoubtedly in the group of elite closers and would sure be paid in the realm of $20 million per season if he were to opt-out following this season. Chapman would also benefit from taking a qualifying offer from the Yankees for more money and then walk following the 2020 season.
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It will be interesting to see how Brian Cashman and the Yanks respond to the will he, won’t he that went back and forth on Wednesday. It would be smart to renegotiate the final years on Chapman’s contract and throw in a little more money, as great closers in today’s game are few and far between.
In the three seasons since signing his new deal, Chapman has faired exceptionally well, putting up a 2.60 ERA, racking up 215 strikeouts and 79 total saves — with 25 saves already in 2019, on route to his second Yankee all-star appearance.
Despite struggling towards the end of 2017, which saw Joe Girardi remove the left-hander from the closer role, Chapman has been almost lights out for the Bombers in the last two seasons, with a 2.45 ERA in 2018 and a 2.45 ERA through 39 outings in 2019.
Only time will tell if Brian Cashman and company will act upon the recent turn of events, as Aroldis Chapman is and continues to be an elite closer.
In a bullpen that consists primarily of Chad Green, Dellin Betances, Adam Ottavino and Zack Britton, Chapman is a once in a generation talent, that happens to be the tip of the iceberg in that ‘pen.