Patrick Mooney of CSNChicago.com hears from “one plugged-in agent” that Aroldis Chapman is seeking a $100 million contract.
For what it’s worth, the record for a reliever free agent contract was Jonathan Papelbon‘s four-year, $50 million deal with the Phillies in 2011. I appreciate that we just came off of a playoff season when big time relievers made a big difference, but as Chapman’s and Andrew Miller‘s obvious exhaustion in Game 7 of the World Series showed, you can only ride a closer so hard. You’re never going to tick one back up to Goose Gossage-level relief ace usage. Certainly not one that throws 102 m.p.h. anyway. Chapman is elite, but quantity matters when it comes to giving money to free agents, not just quality.
It’s also worth noting that Chapman is not the only game in town. Kenley Jansen and Mark Melancon are two other top-flight closers available as well. And that’s before you get to the fact that the Cubs’ front office has made comments suggesting that they may not be too hung up on bringing back Chapman anyway, taking one deep-pocketed bidder out of the mix.
It’s understandable that Chapman thinks highly enough of himself to be worthy of a paradigm-breaking contract. But $100 million certainly doesn’t seem realistic.
Indians slugger José Ramírez broke the hamate bone on his right hand last month and had surgery on August 26 to repair it. At the time he was given the same schedule most hamate bone surgery recipients get: 5-7 weeks if all goes well. Apparently all has gone better-than-well for Ramírez, however, because the Indians are going to activate him tomorrow.
That’s good news for the Indians, who are in a dead heat with the Tampa Bay Rays for the AL’s second Wild Card with six games to go.
Ramírez, like his team, started the season slowly, but he had turned things on in July and August to help fuel Cleveland’s surge into playoff contention. He hit .320/.340/.680 with nine homers and 25 driven in in July and was hitting .321/.372/.705 with six homers and 20 driven in August when he went down. Basically, he had been a better version of the Ramírez who won the Silver Slugger Award and came in third in the MVP balloting in 2018, at least for those two months.
It’ll be interesting to see how rusty he is or if the surgery has sapped his power or bat speed. We’ll only have six games in which to see it, though.