The Kansas City Royals reached an agreement with closer free agent Aroldis Chapman. according to Mark Feinsand of MLB.com. CBS Sports Headquarters confirmed that the deal is for one year and $3.75 million before physical confirmation.
Chapman, 34, is having the most disappointing season yet. In 43 games with the New York Yankees, he averaged a 4.46 ERA and a 1.54 strike-out-to-walk ratio. Chapman’s 88 ERA+ were the worst of his major league career, a career that spans parts of 13 major league seasons.
Chapman’s season was full of setbacks in other ways as well. He needed to be on the injured list due to an infection resulting from a tattoo procedure on his leg. He missed the playoff roster later that year due to missing practice. Even before Chapman withdrew from training, rumors circulated that the Yankees were considering appointing him to the appointment based on a subpar season of performance.
The royals are supposedly hoping they can help Chapman learn about some of the past successes that made him one of the best pitchers in the game for a while. If this outcome seems unlikely, then it would be more likely to serve as an upgrade over some of their internal options. Prior to Chapman’s signing, the Royals were scheduled to have a bullpen with three left-handers: Amir Garrett, Richard Lovelady and Anthony Misevich.
Chapman has made over 300 saves in his career and posted a 2.48 ERA (167 ERA+) and a 3.29 strike-to-walk ratio. According to Baseball Reference, his contribution is estimated to be about 19 wins above replacement. Of note, Chapman was also the first player to be suspended under Major League Baseball’s domestic violence policy when he was suspended for 30 games during the 2016 season.