The New York Yankees won’t be reconnecting with Aroldis Chapman anytime soon, especially after his actions just before the playoffs in 2022. Management wanted Chapman to compete for an opportunity to play during the post-season, coming off one of his worst seasons has a professional.
Unfortunately, his 4.46 ERA across 36.1 innings didn’t justify a high-leverage opportunity for the 34-year-old lefty, leading to him abandoning his team, heading back to Miami, and skipping out on the playoffs.
The reality was simple, though: Chapman struggled the entire 2022 season and didn’t earn his way onto the playoff roster.
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The Yankees didn’t need Aroldis Chapman, but they asked him to compete:
The Yankees had alternative options that performed well, and with Chapman struggling to close the year, they were concerned about his stuff. Averaging out at 97.5 mph with his fastball, the lowest number in his entire career, and another personal-low 10.65 strikeouts per nine, there was no question he was a bit more of a liability than a solution.
Chapman has been rehabilitating and finding his groove again this off-season, touching triple digits with his fastball in a bullpen last week. Nonetheless, he’s started to gain interest in the free agent market.
The Marlins, Royals and Padres are among the teams interested in Aroldis Chapman, per sources.Per Mark Feinsand of the MLB Network.
Given the fact Chapman is coming off of a down year, he likely won’t be able to earn top dollar. The Yankees might have kept him around if he had acted accordingly and put his best foot forward instead of abandoning his team at the season’s most important moment.
Chapman has been solid for the Yankees since signed in 2017 after trading him away in 2016 to the Chicago Cubs. His numbers began to deteriorate in 2021, putting together a 3.36 ERA, which is still adequate. His efficiency took a major blow last year as he battled through a few injuries, including an infected tattoo during the second half of the season.
The Bombers let Chapman and Zack Britton walk in free agency, losing two lefty relief pitchers. They only made one signing in Tommy Kahnle, expecting a few younger options, notably Greg Weissert, to rise to the occasion.