Yankees potentially looking to cut Hall of fame closer

Alexander Wilson
aroldis chapman, yankees

With the New York Yankees inching closer toward the playoffs, management has to make a big decision on the postseason roster. Their bullpen will ultimately consist of the most reliable options, but that leaves future Hall of Fame closer Aroldis Chapman, in a state of purgatory.

Chapman has had a polarizing 2022 campaign, featuring a 4.36 ERA, 4.93 xFIP, and 10.36 strikeouts per nine. Those are the worst three numbers in his entire career, seeing a steep regression with his left-on-base percentage and just a 33.3% ground-ball rate. In addition, his velocity has dropped from 98.4 mph with his fastball in 2021 to 97.6 mph this year.

Aroldis recently returned from a spell on the injured list, but he has failed to make a significant impact since his return. Against the Boston Red Sox on September 22, Chapman walked two batters, recording just one out in the process.

The Yankees managed to scrape by with a walk-off single courtesy of Josh Donaldson, but if they can’t rely on the veteran bullpen arm against bad teams, they certainly can’t count on him against playoff-caliber squads.

In fact, there is a belief that management could DFA him within the next few days prior to the postseason.

The Yankees are at least contemplating whether to designate him for assignment. Essentially, the question is whether they believe they can straighten out his delivery and confidence in the waning days of the season and — even if there positives — whether they would trust him enough with his vacillating performances and control to put him on the postseason roster. Because, if not, he too is a free agent after the season and there are no plans for a reunion.

Per Joel Sherman of the New York Post

The Yankees didn’t expect such a massive falloff from Aroldis Chapman:

Chapman‘s fall from excellence has been dramatic, but a slew of injuries this season has derailed his consistency. Unfortunately, it seems as if the Yankees and Chapman will part ways after this season when his contract concludes. That seems to be the best move for both parties, with Chapman potentially signing elsewhere to cash in before his prime is undoubtedly behind him.

If the Yankees don’t need him for the playoffs, they are better off saving the roster spot and utilizing it elsewhere instead of having to make a tough decision. The only concern is that he could sign with an opposing team and either provide information or make an impact on the mound against the Yankees at some point in the playoffs.

However, manager Aaron Boone may value a roster slot over the potential damage Chapman can do in the playoffs with another club.