Report: Aroldis Chapman agrees to $48M extension with Yankees

Aroldis Chapman has reportedly agreed to a new contract with the New York Yankees. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

The New York Yankees and closer Aroldis Chapman have agreed to a new contract, ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported late Saturday night.

Chapman was due to make a decision on his opt-out clause. His original deal still had two years and $30 million remaining. Passan reports those two years will remain in place, with the Yankees agreeing to pay Chapman an additional $18 million for a guaranteed third season.

That feels like a pretty good deal for the Yankees considering Chapman’s continued strong production in 2019. He notched 37 saves while posting a 2.21 ERA and 85 strikeouts over 57 innings.

It’s not always smooth with the hard-throwing left-hander, but it’s effective more often than not. Since 2012, he’s reached at least 30 saves while posting a sub-3.00 ERA in every season but one.

Last winter’s market a factor?

Chapman, 31, originally signed a five-year, $86 million contract to return to the Yankees prior to the 2017 season. He was traded to the Chicago Cubs prior to the 2016 trade deadline, helping them break their 108-year World Series drought. His quick return to New York though might indicate he feels at home there.

One could also speculate that last winter’s market may have helped fuel this seemingly team friendly deal. Free agency as a whole was disappointing for the players, and especially so for relievers. Very few landed deals that might be considered fair market value. The top closer available, Craig Kimbrel, didn’t end up signing until deep into the 2019 season.

Best reliever available

Now that we know Chapman will not enter free agency, the top reliever available figures to be San Francisco Giants closer Will Smith.

The 30-year-old left-hander has been dynamic over the last two seasons, posting a 2.66 ERA and 1.01 WHIP over 118 1/3 innings.

It’s potentially good news as well for World Series hero Daniel Hudson. His stock is on the rise thanks to several strong outings in key situations for the Washington Nationals following the trade deadline. Houston Astros set up man Will Harris, who served up the crushing home run to Howie Kendrick in Game 7 of the World Series, likely rounds out the new top three relievers available.

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