Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Reds and closer Aroldis Chapman have settled on a one-year deal avoiding arbitration. His salary: $5 million, which is the midpoint between his asking price of $5.4 million and their offer $4.6 million.
And before you ask, yes, I realize that Chapman had a long-term deal with Cincinnati when he signed there. But under the terms of that deal, Chapman was eligible to convert the $3 million he was originally owed for 2014 into a bonus if he was eligible for arbitration. So the $3 million is now mere bonus with the $5 million as his salary, making him an $8 million man this year.
No word on whether that contract ever discussed converting him back into a starting pitcher, but I guess I lost that battle a couple of years ago.
Royals’ Opening Day starter Danny Duffy weathered a minor scare during Saturday’s Cactus League game against the Diamondbacks. The left-hander was removed from his final spring training start after experiencing some left shoulder tightness in the second and third innings. No lasting damage appears to have been done — Duffy told reporters that he simply felt a slight ache, nothing more — and it looks like he’ll remain on track to open the season with the team next Thursday.
The 29-year-old southpaw is coming off one of his best performances to date. Despite losing a few weeks to an oblique strain and elbow soreness, he went 9-10 in 24 starts and finished the 2017 season with a 3.81 ERA, 2.5 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 over 146 1/3 innings. While Duffy entered camp with a clean bill of health, he struggled to execute against his spring training opponents and racked up 13 runs, four homers, seven walks and 11 strikeouts in 13 innings of Cactus League play.
The Royals are scheduled to kick off their home opener against the White Sox on Thursday, March 29 at 4:15 PM ET. Barring any further complications with his shoulder, Duffy will take the mound for the Royals, while James Shields is expected to make his first Opening Day appearance for the White Sox.