After flirting with the Miami Marlins and actually throwing in front of their scouts this week, the Royals swooped in and secured the left-handed reliever’s signature.
“After parts of seven seasons in New York, Aroldis Chapman heads to Kansas City,” Talkin’ Baseball tweeted.
Per several sources, the deal is a one-year commitment worth $3.75 plus performance bonuses.
After parts of seven seasons in New York, Aroldis Chapman heads to Kansas City pic.twitter.com/7m1l3V2UW3
— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) January 19, 2023
As the tweet states, Chapman had been the closer of the New York Yankees since 2016.
That year, he was traded to the Chicago Cubs to aid their postseason run.
As a free agent that same winter, he returned to the Yankees on a multi-year deal.
Chapman has been stellar if we analyze his overall body of work.
With a 2.48 ERA and 1,045 strikeouts in 640 innings, he has been downright dominant.
However, his performance had been declining in the last couple of seasons.
Chapman faced some issues with MLB’s decision to ban the use of foreign substances on the ball (sometimes done to improve the grip, but other times with the goal of increasing spin rates) in 2021.
That year, he had a 3.36 ERA.
Last season, the situation with his command got worse and he finished with a 4.46 ERA, a career-worst.
The Royals are hoping that working in a low-leverage environment will bring some consistency to his fastball command.
If that’s the case and he returns to being the Chapman of old, the team can flip him at the deadline for a few quality prospects.
It’s a nice, cheap gamble for Kansas City.