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.