Up until this past week, there had been at least four teams in the mix to land Aroldis Chapman; the New York Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers, San Francisco Giants and the Chicago Cubs.
Then a fifth team came into the mix to throw their name in the bidding war for the Cuban flame-thrower in the Washington Nationals. Washington, who watched their playoff hopes evaporate quickly with an NLDS loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers, are gung-ho on trying to improve the team, as they are the favorites to trade for former MVP Andrew McCutchen from the Pittsburgh Pirates and have been linked to trying to land Chris Sale from the Chicago White Sox, plus now their reported interest in Chapman.
However, it looks like the Nationals won’t be spending the necessary money needed to land Chapman, as reports have said that the Nationals are bowing out because they feel that it is too expensive and could turn back to Mark Melancon, whom they had and really enjoyed as their closer.
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Washington was a wild card in the sweepstakes for Chapman, as they are not afraid to spend money and considering they’ve been a “one-and-done” team in the postseason, adding someone like Chapman would have easily of helped their chances of ending that label. But, even a team like the Nationals who can spend and at times, overspend, has a limit and they hit a limit on what they want to spend for a closer.
So with Washington not in the mix, this may end up making the Yankees the favorites to land Chapman again and lock him up long-term.
He’s already told his inner circle that he loved his time in New York and would love to be a Yankee again, which is already a sign in the right direction. The Yankees have already expressed a public desire to bring Chapman back, again, another step in the right direction.
With the Dodgers in the mix, remember this; they passed on acquiring him last offseason in the trade with the Cincinnati Reds after the reports of his alleged domestic dispute came out, as the Dodgers said they couldn’t stomach the thought of trading for him. That lead to the Yankees swooping in and landing Chapman in a post-Christmas deal and something Chapman never forgot in his time and relationship with the Yankees.
Now, with that said, the Yankees won’t break the bank for him and won’t spend the reported $100 million Chapman is looking for, which is fine. No team was going to go that high for Chapman considering no team has ever spent that kind of money for a closer, even if that closer throws 100 consistently and is overpowering on the mound.
Will Chapman get close to it? Probably, as we predicted a five-year, $80-90 million deal between the Yankees and Chapman and that would set the record as far as a contract for a major league reliever goes.
Chapman not getting $100 million wouldn’t be insulting and if he were to get the $80-90 million range, that would break the previous record for a reliever contract set by Jonathan Papelbon of four years and $50 million from almost four years ago.
Chapman and the Yankees ultimately are a great fit for one another and it seems like the two sides are eventually going to come to terms. With the Nationals out of the mix and with Major League Baseball getting the Collective Bargaining Agreement done this past week, the Yankees efforts to get Chapman should increase and it could be only a matter of time before Chapman is back in the Bronx donning the pinstripes and lighting up the radar guns again.