New York Yankees Are Already in Touch with Aroldis Chapman

The New York Yankees have already contacted Aroldis Chapman about a potential return.

The New York Yankees have wasted no time to get moving this offseason, with Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News reporting that they are already pursuing Aroldis Chapman. He writes that general manager Brian Cashman has confirmed that he has reached out to Chapman’s agent.

Chapman, of course, is quite familiar with the New York Yankees. The Yankees acquired the lefty from the Cincinnati Reds last winter in exchange for four prospects. At the time, the trade added to an already stacked bullpen featuring Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances. Once Chapman had served his 30-game suspension for a domestic violence incident, he joined the Yankees and pitched absolutely brilliantly.

Over the course of 31 innings, the Cuban native recorded 44 strikeouts against just 20 hits and eight walks. His 2.01 earned run average landed among the elite, and advanced metrics valued him at an even better mark. It goes without saying that these top-notch statistics came in part due to his blazing fastball, which averaged 100 miles per hour during his tenure in New York.

Unfortunately for the Yankees, their season did not go quite as well as they had planned, and they eventually dealt Chapman to the Chicago Cubs for a package headlined by top prospect Gleyber Torres. If Chapman excelled with the Yankees, he somehow managed to outstrip his own abilities with the Cubs. He racked up strikeouts at an even higher rate and allowed just one earned run per nine innings. Perhaps most impressively, he prevented the opposition from hitting a homerun for the entire second half of the season.

For the New York Yankees, bringing Aroldis Chapman back into the fold makes a decent amount of sense. They are already familiar with his abilities and limitations, so they certainly have a good idea of how much he is worth. Chapman would also add to the bullpen after it lost both he and Andrew Miller last season, improving the Yankees’ odds of a successful playoff run.

Also of note, the starting rotation still looks like it could use an extra arm or two. While this seems like it could take priority over a Chapman signing, free agency lacks top-tier starting pitchers. If the Yankees decide that they want to add an arm or two to solidify their rotation, they would probably do so via a trade, potentially allowing them to spend the extra money on the bullpen.

Whether or not the Yankees ultimately sign Aroldis Chapman remains to be seen, and they could certainly examine other options like Kenley Jansen. Of course, Chapman comes with the added bonus of not having a qualifying offer, but that could inflate his price. Nevertheless, it sends a good message to the team’s fans that they are already trying to get back into the postseason.

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