2. Aroldis Chapman
How different would Aroldis Chapman be viewed in the eyes of Yankees fans if he didn’t have to face the Houston Astros in the postseason? His showings in the 2017 and 2019 ALCS both essentially put in the final nail in the coffin. To make matters worse, he got the Yankees eliminated again in 2020 because he let Mike Brosseau, who was optioned in 2021, hit the go-ahead homer off him in the bottom of the eighth inning in Game 5 of the ALDS.
Chapman’s one of the best closers of his generation, but to be paid that much money to do that in the postseason as well as blow countless other games in back-breaking fashion (that you likely would never see from another closer of his caliber) has everyone fed up. And 2021 was his worst campaign ever!
He finished with a 3.36 ERA (second-worst of his career), 3.99 FIP (worst of his career), 1.31 WHIP (worst of his career), nine home runs allowed (worst of his career) and 38 walks (second-worst of his career) in 2021. Call us whiny Yankees fans who were spoiled by Mariano Rivera, but in simpler terms, we’d just prefer not to use a sizable percentage of the payroll on a guy who sees 50-60 innings a year and famously folds in the most pressure-filled moments.
Chapman’s MLB future isn’t uncertain — someone will sign him to close after 2022. But his Yankees future certainly is. If he’s back in 2023, we’ll be shocked.