Over the weekend when C.J. Wilson posted Mike Napoli’s phone number to his 100,000-plus Twitter followers I just assumed it was a prank–albeit a pretty extreme one–but today Napoli made it very clear that he didn’t think it was funny. At all:
I don’t even know why he did it. You don’t do that. I am not taking it as a prank. You know, I haven’t even talked to him since the end of last season. We don’t have that type of relationship.
They’re former teammates and batterymates, but if Napoli and Wilson aren’t even friends and haven’t spoken in five months it’s awfully hard to see what Wilson did as anything but mean-spirited at best.
It all started when Napoli said he looked forward to hitting homers off Wilson, but those are not exactly fighting words. Wilson eventually deleted the tweet, but obviously the damage was done by then and calling it a “prank” after the fact seems like a stretch.
Or as Napoli put it: “I just think it was uncalled for.”
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.