On the heels of a historically-great 2012 season in which he finished as a runner-up to Miguel Cabrera in the AL MVP race, Angels outfielder Mike Trout started off 2013 very slowly. Through the first ten games, he was hitting .227 with 12 strikeouts in 47 plate appearances. He would proceed to have multi-hit games in six out of his next seven games and hasn’t stopped lighting the American League up since.
Trout credits Albert Pujols for his early-season recovery, tweets Buster Olney:
Pujols hasn’t had the same success, unfortunately. Dealing with plantar fasciitis in his left foot, Pujols enters tonight’s game against the White Sox hitting .239 with a sub-.600 OPS in the month of May. The 33-year-old is in the second year of a ten-year, $240 million contract with the Angels.
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.