Aroldis Chapman, the talented closer from Cuba, has agreed to return to the New York Yankees. Baseball’s hardest thrower has signed the richest ever contract for a reliever at 5 years and $86 million.
Chapman will return to the Bronx after just over three months of being a member of the Chicago Cubs and winning a World Series title. The source of this news told reporters he did not want his name released.
Chapman said he loved the Yankee organization and they had welcomed him back with open arms and because of that, he decided to return. He added that every player has a dream of being a member of the Yankees.
Chapman, the top closer in the free agent market, agreed to the highest contract ever signed by a relief pitcher. Only a few days earlier, Mark Melancon inked a deal worth $62 million with San Francisco.
Chapman’s deal has a no-trade clause provision for California as he said he did not want to be that far from his family. Chapman also said he could have signed with Miami and remained closer to home, but opted to play again with the Yankees.
Washington had also been negotiating with Chapman the past few days, but lost out to New York in the end.
Chapman spent half of last season with New York prior to being traded in July to the Cubs. His combined saves for the season were 36 between the two teams.
He played an important role in the postseason for Chicago as the Cubs went on to win their first title since 1908.
It is rare that any player returns to a team that traded him away in just the next season. However, the Yankees were able to re-sign Chapman as well as gain three top prospects in the trade last July with the Cubs, as well as Adam Warrant a major league hurler.
Over his career, Chapman has thrown nothing but heat which has helped him to strike out over 42.5% of the batters he has faced and average 15.1 strikeouts for every 9 innings, which is the highest MLB rate in history with a minimum of 250 innings pitched.
Chapman has 182 saves for his career during the seven season he has played and a save percentage of 89.7%.
With the deal inked by Chapman only Kenley Jansen is the remaining top closer left in the free agent market.