Bob Brookover of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports that right-hander Brian Gordon has signed with the Yankees after opting out of his contract with the Phillies.
But that’s not all. Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer passes along word from Brookover that Gordon is expected to start Thursday against the Rangers.
Brian Gordon? Who’s Brian Gordon? Glad you asked.
Gordon, a converted outfielder, made three relief appearances with the Rangers back in 2008, but has otherwise spent 14-plus years in the minor leagues. After putting up respectable numbers over the past two seasons as a reliever, the 32-year-old right-hander had a 1.14 ERA and 56/7 K/BB ratio over his first nine starts and three relief appearances with Triple-A Lehigh Valley this season. He posted a stunning 31/1 K/BB ratio over 19 2/3 innings with the club this month.
While it sounds like the Yankees have settled on Gordon for Thursday, they have also considered David Phelps or Hector Noesi for the assignment.
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.