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Aroldis Chapman Rumors: Yankees Free Agent Drawing Interest From 3 Teams

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIJanuary 12, 2023

New York Yankees pitcher Aroldis Chapman throws during the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles on Friday, Sept. 30, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)
AP Photo/Adam Hunger

Three MLB teams are considering free-agent relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman, per Jon Heyman of the New York Post. The teams were not named.

Chapman has made seven All-Star games over a 13-year career with the Cincinnati Reds, Chicago Cubs and New York Yankees. He has a lifetime 2.48 ERA and 315 saves.

The 34-year-old left-hander went through an ugly ending to his Yankee career in 2022, when he posted a 4-4 record alongside a 4.46 ERA, 1.43 WHIP and 10.9 K/9 rate.

He lost his closer job to Clay Holmes and was left off the American League Division Series roster after missing a mandatory workout beforehand.

"It's unfortunate that he wasn't here Friday," general Brian Cashman said afterward, per Ronald Blum of the Associated Press.

"Clearly disappointing, but at the same time not surprised by how things are starting to play out over the course of the season. So it was surprising at first, like a little shocking, but then after the shock wore off, when you add everything up, it's not surprising. There's some questions about whether he's been all-in or not for a little while, and he's maintained verbally that he's in, but at times actions don't match those words."

Per Pete Caldera of northjersey.com, Chapman flew home to Miami after the Yankees' regular-season finale on Oct 5. He no-showed a scheduled live batting practice in New York two days later.

Chapman was a long shot to pitch in the playoffs regardless after his difficult season, and he didn't make the ALCS roster either. Cashman fined Chapman, and manager Aaron Boone made the decision that the reliever stay home during the postseason.

At his best, Chapman was a flame-throwing, shutdown closer. From 2012-2019, he posted a 2.10 ERA, 0.99 WHIP and a 15.1 K/9 rate while averaging 34 saves per season.

However, he hasn't fared as well since. He's posted a 3.71 ERA since then, and his ERA, K/9 and WHIP marks in 2022 were all career-worsts for him.

There was a rumor that the Los Angeles Dodgers were interested in signing Chapman to a two-year deal, but Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times said the report was not true.

Ultimately, Chapman is still receiving some interest from teams. It's easy to see why given his lifetime resume despite recent struggles with the hope is that he returns closer to his pre-2020s form.