Miguel Cabrera hit two home runs and drove in three runs and Prince Fielder added a two-run homer of his own to back starter Max Scherzer, who improved to 12-0. Cabrera bumped his Triple Crown stats to .377/24/81. He leads the Majors in average and RBI, but trails Orioles first baseman Chris Davis (28) in home runs. Fielder’s homer was a monster that hit the catwalk at Tropicana Field.
As for Scherzer, he held the Rays to three runs over seven innings, striking out nine and walking one. He becomes the first pitcher to start 12-0 since Roger Clemens in 1986 with the Red Sox. That year, Clemens went 24-4 with a 2.48 ERA en route to taking home both the AL Cy Young (unanimously) and MVP awards. Scherzer currently has a 3.10 ERA.
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.