You know, I’m beginning to think that you can’t necessarily take someone’s word for it when they say a player is in the best shape of his life.
For example, Jim Leyland said that of Miguel Cabrera while he still stunk of scotch the morning of his DUI arrest. Now, however, he’s saying that may not be the case:
“I’m getting Miguel Cabrera into baseball shape, and that’s my job as field manager,” Leyland said. “He can be either too light, or too heavy, and the secret is to get him at a perfect place.
“He’s a big man who needs weight, but not excess weight. He needs weight that will maintain his strength but not weight that makes him sluggish.”
Asked if Cabrera was in the process of shedding pounds, Leyland answered:
“That would be safe to say.”
Oh, and Leyland is not pleased with reporters asking him questions about Cabrera, saying when asked about Cabrera that, he’s “tired of people coming in here looking for (stuff).” Except those parenthesis indicate that he didn’t say “stuff.”
And I agree wholeheartedly with Leyland. I mean, we have seen MVP-caliber first basemen abuse alcohol, drive drunk, threaten to burn down bars and ask police officers to kill them so many times at this point that it’s become a dog-bites-man kind of thing.
Nothing to see here reporters, move along!
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that there is a “one million percent” chance Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman will opt out once the season ends.
Just going by the math this makes perfect sense, of course.
Chapman signed a five-year, $86 million deal with the Yankees before the 2017 season. Pursuant to the terms of the deal he’ll make $15 million a year in 2020 and 2021 (he was given an $11 million signing bonus that was finished being paid out last year). This past season the qualifying offer was $17.9 million. Craig Kimbrel of the Cubs just signed a deal that will pay him $16 million in 2020, 2021, and 2022 (he’s making a prorated $16 million this year). Other top closer salaries at the moment include Kenley Jansen ($19,333,334); and Wade Davis ($18 million).
It’s fair to say that Chapman fits into that group and, I think it’s safe to say, more teams would take him than those guys if they were all freely available. As such, Chapman opting out to get more money makes all kinds of sense. Heck, opting out, getting slapped with a qualifying offer, accepting it and then hitting the market unencumbered after the 2020 season would stand him in better financial stead than if he didn’t opt-out in the first place.
The question is whether the Yankees will let it get that far or whether they’ll approach him to renegotiate the final couple of years on the deal or to add some years onto the back of it. If they’re smart they will.