The Yankees are in agreement with closer Aroldis Chapman on a contract extension that will keep him in New York through the 2022 season, according to a report late Saturday night from ESPN’s Jeff Passan:
Aroldis Chapman will add an extra year at $18 million on top of the two years, $30 million remaining on his deal, sources tell ESPN. The deal will keep Chapman with the Yankees through the 2022 season.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) November 3, 2019
The 31-year-old closer had the opportunity to opt out of the final two years and $30 million remaining on what was originally a five-year, $86 million deal. According to MLB Network’s Jon Heyman, Chapman was expected to opt out if he didn’t get more money tacked onto his deal with the Yankees, but obviously the two sides came to a resolution.
While Chapman still ranked in the 99th percentile for fastball velocity among major-league pitchers in 2019, his average four-seamer velocity was 98.0 MPH, a career low. In terms of run prevention, he had his best season since 2016, posting a 2.21 ERA. But the six-time All-Star saw his strikeouts drop a bit, going from a ridiculous 16.3 Ks per nine innings to 13.4 in ‘19. After posting an unbelievable .136 opponent batting average in ‘18, he also saw that number rise a bit as it increased to .185 in ‘19 (which is still dominant, obviously). While there was much more public support for Athletics reliever Liam Hendriks — who had a much stronger statistical case, quite honestly — Chapman won his first Mariano Rivera AL Reliever of the Year Award for his efforts in 2019.
With Chapman officially back in the fold, the Yankees will bring back at least four of their five big-name relievers — the veteran closer, Zack Britton, Tommy Kahnle, and Adam Ottavino — as well as Chad Green, who has been an extremely effective performer at times but endured some serious struggles early in 2019. The status of right-hander Dellin Betances, a four-time All-Star who is a free agent and suffered a partial Achilles tear late in the season, has yet to be determined.