Aroldis Chapman agrees to a one-year deal with Kansas City

Aroldis Chapman
Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images

Free-agent relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman signed a one-year deal with the Royals, Thursday.

Chapman, 34, has appeared to be on a downward spiral over the past couple of seasons, and his 2022 campaign featured the worst of his performance. Not only that but there was some off-field controversy surrounding the veteran closer. Over 43 games, Aroldis Chapman posted a career-worst 4.46 ERA, allowing 18 earned runs in 36.1 innings pitched. He began the year as New York’s closer, saving nine games over the first two months of the season, but was leapfrogged by Clay Holmes on the depth chart after a brutal stretch in May that ended with a trip to the injured list. 

He then missed more time on IL due to a tattoo infection on his leg and was sidelined for a month. When it came playoff time, Chapman was told to stay away from the team after missing a workout.

The contract with Kansas City is reportedly worth $3.75 million for the 2023 season and will include performance bonuses.

If Chapman regains control and can bounce back to the relief pitcher he was before he will be a productive piece for the back end of the Royals bullpen. After all, Chapman is a seven-time All-Star with 315 saves in his career. Only Craig Kimbrel and Kenley Jansen have more saves among active pitchers. That said, Chapman’s numbers have been deteriorating over the last several seasons. 

Kansas City won the sweepstakes of Chapman after reportedly receiving interest from many teams including the Padres, Dodgers, Rays, and Marlins. With more time to focus on pitching, the Royals may have won out on a relatively inexpensive deal.

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