The Yankees renegotiated Aroldis Chapman’s contract on Saturday night removing his annual player options and signing him through the 2022 season.
They’ve committed long term to the 2019 AL Relief Pitcher of the Year after a season where he struck out 85 batters in 57 innings with 37 saves and a 2.21 ERA.
That’s a dope season if you ignore the fact that the last time any of us saw him pitch he had a creepy smile on his face after giving up a walk off homer to Jose Altuve in Game 6 of the ALCS that eliminated the Yankees from the playoffs.
But we don’t need to re-litigate the ALCS. It’s time to look at the 2020 season and beyond.
I was prepared to say that this means the Yankees are willing to drop bags this offseason, unlike the previous year. They’ve tried to remain under the luxury tax so they’ve acquired players like James Paxton instead of Patrick Corbin.
Giving Chapman the bag is a good thing.
Until you look around the rest of baseball and realize that there are only like, 5 good closers. Craig Kimbrel won the World Series and wasn’t even signed until he penned a 3-year deal with the Chicago Cubs in June.
Kimbrel had a -0.5 WAR with a 6.53 ERA last season. Ew.
Kenley Jansen had the opportunity to opt-out of his contract and hit the market and chose not to. Of course he opted in.
He was so unreliable last season that Dodgers manager, Dave Roberts, elected to pitch Clayton Kershaw in the 8th inning of an elimination game instead of Jansen and Kershaw is historically TRASH in the postseason.
This isn’t the Yankees making it rain on players. It’s them doing what they’ve been doing already: playing it safe.
One could say that the Yankees could have easily let Chapman walk and moved Zach Britton or Adam Ottavino into the closer role but this re-signing, if anything, shows the Yankees stubbornness to realize the value of starting pitching.
Brian Cashman values the bullpen more than anything so losing a top closer and eliminating a potential 7th and 8th inning pitcher is out of the question for this team.
The Yankees aren’t about to go out there and throw money at Stephen Strasburg and Gerrit Cole. If anything, they’re doubling down on the bullpen.
Don’t be shocked if the Yankees come into next season with a 3-man starting rotation and 15 former closers coming out of the pen all throwing 99mph and sucking in the postseason.
What does re-signing Aroldis Chapman mean for the Yankees future?
Another ALCS loss to a team that has starting pitchers that can throw complete games that don’t even need closers.
Also indicates horse blinders on that Houston Astros assistant GM story. Brandon Taubman taunted female reporters about how proud he was for trading for Roberto Osuna, known wife beater.
Brian Cashman saw the chaos surrounding Houston and thought to himself ‘Chapman deserves an extra $18 milly’.
I’m about 10 months away from a ‘Fire Brian Cashman Yesterday headline’ coming. Stay tuned.