Yankees fans will laugh at Royals’ reported assessment of Aroldis Chapman

Thomas Carannante
ST PETERSBURG, FLORIDA - JULY 27: Aroldis Chapman #54 of the New York Yankees reacts during the ninth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field on July 27, 2021 in St Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)
ST PETERSBURG, FLORIDA - JULY 27: Aroldis Chapman #54 of the New York Yankees reacts during the ninth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field on July 27, 2021 in St Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images) /
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Aroldis Chapman reportedly turned down more money from the San Diego Padres and Miami Marlins to sign with the Kansas City Royals because he wanted to close, and wouldn’t have been afforded that opportunity with the other interested teams.

That sure sounds like a team-first guy, right? The kind of guy that wouldn’t get his 600th tattoo in the middle of a division race and risk an infection? The kind of guy that wouldn’t bail on the team and ditch workouts if he wasn’t guaranteed an ALDS roster spot?

Why play for a better team in a deemphasized role (while you’re clearly on the decline) when you can play for arguably the worst team and have your coveted closer title?

Somehow, the Royals think that this is going to work out for both parties. Not only is Kansas City adding Chapman, who has been one of the worst high-leverage relievers in the sport from June of 2021 until Oct. of 2022, to the 27th-ranked bullpen in MLB, but they actually think he’s going to succeed in a worse environment.

Even funnier is the fact that the Royals reportedly think Chapman be good enough in the first half that he’ll be a sought-after asset at the trade deadline!

The Royals actually think former Yankee Aroldis Chapman will be good in 2023

Here’s the latest from Bob Nightengale of USA Today:

"“Aroldis Chapman went from earning $16 million a year to $3.75 million in his new deal with the Kansas City Royals.“The Royals are banking on him having a good first half so they can trade him.”"

Maybe this is why the Royals are still among the bottom five teams in the league? With the Yankees, who have famously turned no-name relievers into All-Stars, Chapman failed time and time again in the postseason and has fallen off a cliff ever since blowing the 2019 ALCS. The 2021 and 2022 seasons represented his career-worsts, and it wasn’t even close. Now, he’s entering his age-35 campaign with a team that has no idea how to develop pitchers.

Maybe he’ll be an “asset” because he’ll cost another team under $2 million at the deadline, but what do the Royals expect to get in return? A No. 29 prospect? That’s their grand plan? If you look at Chapman’s career numbers against the AL Central, too, they’re not that impressive at all!

  • vs Guardians – 3.05 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 32 strikeouts in 20 games (20.2 innings)
  • vs Tigers – 3.00 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 23 strikeouts in 17 games (15 innings)
  • vs Twins – 5.06 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 22 strikeouts in 17 games (16 innings)
  • vs White Sox – 4.91 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 10 strikeouts in 13 games (11 innings)

It’s a bold strategy. We’ll see how it pays off for ’em, Cotton.

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