KANSAS CITY, MO – Kansas City Royals and Aroldis Chapman They reportedly agreed to a one-year, $3.75 million contract.
The individual spoke on condition of anonymity as the deal awaits a successful medical examination for the seven-time All-Star.
Chapman was once one of the most dynamic pitchers in baseball, known for constantly throwing the ball at 100 mph or more. But the southpaw, who will be 35 on Opening Day, is ending the worst season of his 13-year career, going 4-4 with a 4.46 ERA for the Yankees in 2022, raising questions about his dedication to his team.
In May, Chapman spent time on the injured list with Achilles tendinitis and then lost a closer job to Clay Holmes. In August, he was back in IL with a leg infection from a tattoo and was then dropped from New York’s roster for the AL Division Series after missing mandatory tag team practice and drawing the ire of manager Aaron Boone.
At his best, Chapman was a dynamic player who made his last All-Star team just two years ago. And the Royals are hoping that new manager Matt Quatraro, along with a rebuilt coaching staff now managing their pitchers, can help Chapman rediscover the form that helped him save at least 30 games in eight different seasons.
He is 44-35 with a 2.48 ERA and 315 career saves with the Yankees, Reds and Cubs.
The Royals were desperate for help in the bullpen, where they were the fourth worst in the majors with a 4.66 ERA last season. Their biggest free agent acquisition so far has been Ryan Yarbroughthat can start or operate in the long run.
SEATTLE. The Seattle Mariners signed infielder Tommy La Stella to a one-year contract, adding another all-round veteran to their roster.
La Stella spent her last two seasons with San Francisco before being assigned to the Giants in late December. La Stella signed a three-year, $18.75 million contract ahead of the 2021 season but only played in 136 games and hit .245 in two seasons with the Giants.
“Tommy’s makeup, instincts and experience in a winning environment will benefit our team as we look to take the next step.” Mariners President Jerry Dipoto said in a statement. “We appreciate his versatility and strike zone management skills, as well as what I consider to be a high baseball IQ.”
Seattle will be La Stella’s sixth other team since he moved to Atlanta in 2014. He was selected to the All-Star Game with the Los Angeles Angels in 2019 when he scored a career best. .295 with .832 OPS, 16 homers, and 44 RBIs, but was limited to just 80 games after breaking his tibia while hitting the ball.
La Stella has mostly played second and third base and will likely rotate in those positions in Seattle. He was also the designated hitter in 43 games last season with the Giants and could be an option for the Seattle left-hander.