Bronson Arroyo will be a free agent after spending the past eight seasons in Cincinnati and the 36-year-old right-hander told Mark Sheldon of MLB.com that he hasn’t had any extension talks with the Reds:
I’ve heard not a word. The sense I have, I don’t think they’ll make me a [qualifying] offer. They would have to offer me $13-14 million for me to stay anyway. I haven’t had one conversation with them. They could be taking care of other things or other issues. The sense I get is by not having any conversation with me, is they’re going in a different direction.
Arroyo has been a very solid mid-rotation starter into his mid-30s, posting a sub-4.00 ERA in four of the past five seasons and tossing at least 199 innings in nine consecutive years, but the Reds can save a ton of money by turning his rotation spot over to left-hander Tony Cingrani.
As pointed out in the above quote by Arroyo it’s possible that the Reds could make him a qualifying offer, in which case he could accept it and return on a one-year deal worth around $14 million. If he declined and signed elsewhere, the Reds would get draft pick compensation. But at age 36 and coming off a mediocre season it would probably make sense for Arroyo to just take the $14 million and Cincinnati is already strapped for cash.
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.