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Report: Aroldis Chapman reaches new deal with Yankees

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Closer Aroldis Chapman has agreed to a new deal with the Yankees, adding another year and $18 million to his existing contract, ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports. Chapman could have opted out of his contract but the Yankees sweetened it in order to keep him around. He had two years and $30 million remaining.

Chapman, 31, is still a dominant closer, finishing this past season with 37 saves, a 2.21 ERA, and 85 strikeouts in 57 innings. The Yankees are losing Dellin Betances to free agency and could be without Tommy Kahnle following the 2020 season as well as Zach Britton if he opts out. Chapman’s return helps the Yankees maintain a dominant back of the bullpen in the near future.

There was some thought that the Yankees would be content to let Chapman opt out and use the freed-up payroll space to pursue one of the bigger free agents. With the flamethrowing lefty back in the bullpen, one wonders if the recently budget-conscious Yankees will still try to make a free agent splash.

Nationals’ Strasburg ejected for arguing from the stands

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NEW YORK — A pitcher getting ejected for arguing balls and strikes – on his day off? And, from the stands?

Nationals star Stephen Strasburg earned one of baseball’s most unique ejections – probably ever – in the third inning of Washington’s game against the New York Mets on Thursday.

Strasburg was sitting in Section 121 at Citi Field in this socially distant season because he’s scheduled to start Friday against Baltimore Orioles. He was apparently unhappy with the strike zone of plate umpire Carlos Torres after Austin Voth‘s 2-2 pitch to Pete Alonso on the outside corner was ruled a ball.

Moments later, Torres ejected last year’s World Series MVP, though it took a few seconds to realize who had been tossed.

Someone was heard yelling: “You’re (expletive) brutal” shortly before television cameras captured Strasburg doffing his cap as he walked up the staircase on his way out of the park.

“Sorry, folks – sorry, FCC,” Mets broadcaster Gary Cohen said on SNY.

The usually stoic Strasburg appeared to be grinning underneath his blue mask as he made his exit.