The Yankees already have their closer of the future on the roster, per scouts

New York Yankees’ closer Aroldis Chapman is entering the final season of his contract. He will be 34 when the ‘play ball’ voice is heard this year, and with the kind of season he had last year, the Bombers are likely to let him test the market in the fall.

Chapman wasn’t technically bad for the Yankees in 2021. However, since MLB started to ban the use of foreign substances on the ball, his fastball command disappeared, his walks skyrocketed, and his overall performance fell off a cliff.

He had his moments in which he appeared to put it all together again, but it will be hard for the Yankees to fully trust him again after finishing with his highest ERA, 3.36, in years. He also had a very high 15.6% walk rate.

Who is shaping up to eventually replace Chapman as the closer of the New York Yankees? Will the team go out and sign a free agent? Will they pursue a trade? According to what a couple of scouts told the New York Post (link to NJ Advance Media article here), they already have a suitable replacement in place.

The Yankees can trust in Lo’

Jonathan Loaisiga, currently 27 years old and with three seasons of control remaining, is the best bet to eventually succeed Chapman.

“I’d go with Jonathan Loaisiga,’’ one AL scout told The Post. “And I might not even wait until ‘23.”

“He could do anything out there, including close,’’ an NL scout said.

Loaisiga was a revelation in the Yankees’ bullpen last season, with a career-best 2.17 ERA, a 9-4 record, five saves, and 69 strikeouts in 70.2 innings. He was third on the team in Wins Above Replacement (WAR) with 2.4, and has improved every year.

Loaisiga had a 5.11 ERA in 2018, a 4.55 mark in 2019, and a 3.52 one in 2020. Clay Holmes could be a solid option, too, but the Yankees probably prefer his ground-ball prowess to get out of jams as a setup man.

In any case, Loaisiga seems like the right man for the job.

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