The Kansas City Royals made an intriguing free-agent splash on Thursday, agreeing to a contract with former New York Yankees reliever Aroldis Chapman.
Chapman reportedly signed a one-year, $3.75 million deal, but according to nj.com's Randy Miller, the desire to close led the 34-year-old to turn down more lucrative offers.
I'm hearing Aroldis Chapman turned down more money from Padres to sign with Royals for one year at $3.75M. He wants to close and he'll do that in KC. Marlins offered $2M.— Randy Miller (@RandyJMiller) January 19, 2023
While dollar amounts are unknown, Miller reported on Wednesday that Chapman had offers from the Miami Marlins, San Diego Padres and the Royals, with the Los Angeles Dodgers and Tampa Bay Rays also showing interest.
Joining the Royals for his 14th major league season marks the end of Chapman's long tenure with the Yankees. Chapman spent the last seven seasons in the Bronx, where he received three All-Star nods.
In 315 career games in pinstripes, Chapman recorded 153 saves, the third-most in Yankees' history, behind only Dave Righetti (224) and Hall of Famer Mariano Rivera (652).
After a 30-save season in 2021, Chapman struggled in 2022 with the Yankees. Chapman posted a career-worst 4.46 ERA, finishing 4-4 in 43 appearances. Meanwhile, Chapman posted only nine saves, which — not counting the COVID-19-shortened 2020 campaign — was his lowest output since 2011, his second season in the majors.
It's a low-risk, high-reward move by the Royals, who hope Chapman still has something left. If Chapman can round back into form, he might help the Royals improve upon last year's 65-97 finish or even become a valuable trade chip at the deadline. Only time will tell, but if recent history tells us anything, Chapman's downswing might only continue in a new uniform.
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