Aroldis Chapman wants to stay with Yankees, will opt out if no extension
Aroldis Chapman has been one of the best relievers in baseball with the New York Yankees over the past three-plus seasons, and he wants to remain with the team going forward. But if he does, it will not be under his current contract.
Chapman holds a player option for the next two years and $30 million total remaining on his deal, and Jon Heyman of Fancred reports that he is not planning to opt in. The left-hander prefers to continue pitching in New York, but he wants an extension from the Yankees.
Aroldis Chapman prefers to remain a Yankee and will pursue an extension with the team. If no extension can be done quickly, he will opt out of the $30M and 2 years left on his contract. Whereupon the Yankees will extend the $17.8M qualifying offer (which he obvs would decline)
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) November 1, 2019
Chapman had 37 saves in 42 opportunities this season, and his 2.21 ERA was the lowest of his three full seasons with the Yankees. He’ll turn 32 in February, but Craig Kimbrel signed a three-year, $43 million deal with the Chicago Cubs after sitting out a significant portion of the 2019 season. You can understand why Chapman feels good about his chances of getting a big deal on the open market.
While some opponents think Chapman has lost some of his intimidation factor, he’s still one of the best relievers in baseball and has proven he can perform in a big market. It would not be a surprise if the Yankees pay to keep him.