Should the Yankees keep Dellin Betances or let him walk in free agency?

New York Yankees, Dellin Betances

The New York Yankees and general manager Brian Cashman have to decide on relief pitcher Dellin Betances this upcoming off-season.

Betances failed to play a majority of the 2019 season, suffering from shoulder and lat issues. However, the big righty did make his debut on September 15, striking out a pair of Toronto Blue Jays before tearing his Achilles tendon and was ruled out for the remainder of the season.

This was not ideal for the relief pitcher, considering it was a contract year, and he was looking to cash in on a dominant season.

His injuries occurred at the worst possible time, but the Yankees have to decide on his future and whether or not he fits their plans for the 2020 season. It is not an easy decision to make, considering the severity of the injury and how it could affect him in the future.

Betances has struggled to develop into an elite set up man and potential closer. Still, the re-signing of Aroldis Chapman for three years should alleviate the Yankees concern in that category.

Betances has been fantastic in setting up Chapman in recent seasons, but they have plenty of options (Zack Britton being a favorable one) and can go out and sign another bullpen arm to replace him if need be.

Why the Yankees could retain him:

New York’s bullpen looked inconsistent during the postseason, as Adam Ottavino, who was stellar during regular season play, struggled immensely to take down the Houston Astros hitters.

Betances is the only reliever with five consecutive 100-strikeouts seasons, featuring a blazing fastball and buckling curveball. His abilities are undoubtedly attractive, but coming back from an Achilles tear is not ideal for the Bombers and their hopes for a dominant bullpen.

The expectation is that Betances will earn somewhere in the $10 million range next season, which could be allocated towards another pitcher or an excellent starter. It ultimately boils down to Brian Cashman and how much he wants to invest in other positions. Is it worth utilizing that $10 million somewhere else, or is Betances that important to the bullpen?

New York Yankees Extend Chapman Through 2022

It was announced Saturday night that the New York Yankees have extended the contract of closer Aroldis Chapman. The 31 year old six-time all star had a contract that ended in 2021 but had an opt-out after 2019.

Chapman didn’t opt-out, and instead the Yankees extended him through 2022. He will make $15 million in 2020 and 2021, while making $18 million in 2022. His deal has no more opt-outs.

My Thoughts:

I think that the way the Yankees and Aroldis Chapman did this was really smart. They didn’t spend a ton on him and they are keeping their closer for at least the next three years without a huge salary cap hit.

But, Chapman needs to continue to prove that he’s worth the money that they spent. He needs to keep developing his off-speed pitches and try to reduce the amount of velocity he loses each year. He also needs to stay out of trouble so hopefully the team doesn’t have to deal with another Domingo German like situation. Remember, Chapman served a suspension for domestic abuse a few seasons ago.

The good news is, if Chapman struggles a bit and needs to be taken out of the closing role, the Yankees have Zack Britton to fill his place.

But, overall I’m very satisfied with the deal. Chapman has been one of the best closers in baseball and it’s good that he will remain on the Yankees. He won this year’s “Reliever of the Year” award and hopefully he will win many more.

This is the first of many moves the Yankees will make to try and win a World Series in 2020.

Yankees and Aroldis Chapman reach reasonable extension

New York Yankees, Aroldis Chapman

UPDATED:

Yankees and Chapman agree on a $48 million, three-year extension to replace two-year, $30 million remaining on deal.

 

Time is ticking for New York Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman. The five-year, $86 million contract he signed with the Bombers has an out after the third season, and he now has to decide on his future. If he chooses to look for a new contract, he will forfeit $30 million over the next two seasons, but he can likely find a suitor who will pay him significantly more.

The Yankees could re-sign him for more money. Still, it’s possible they stick with Zach Britton as their closer and let Chapman walk, especially after he gave up a two-run homer to Jose Altuve in the ALCS to guarantee the Yankees’ elimination from the playoffs. His success dwarfs that blip on Chapman’s impressive career.

Chapman has until 12:01 a.m. on Sunday to make a choice and all signs point towards an opt-out. The closer will turn 32 in February, which puts him in an older grouping of relief pitchers. If he elects to opt-out, the Yanks will then offer him (qualifying) $17.8 million for one year. If he rejects that, the new team he signs with will then need to compensate his former club (the Bombers).

How dominant was Aroldis Chapman for the New York Yankees?

Over 60 games this past season, Chapman earned 37 saves over 42 attempts, striking out 85 batters and allowed 48 hits over 57 innings. He ranked second in saves alongside Roberto Osuna of the Houston Astros. The 2019 season was notable for Aroldis, though, as it proved he can stay healthy. He managed to avoid the injured list, which ultimately boosts his value and potential compensation if he opts out.

Britton was confidence that the bullpen could supplement his loss if they need to, according to the NY Post:

“Obviously Chapman is one of the top closers in the game,” Britton said. “I think we have enough talent in the bullpen if he decides to go elsewhere though.”

It will be interesting to see what he decides and if the Yankees are keen on offering him more money to retain his quality.

New York Yankees: Is Aroldis Chapman on his way out?

New York Yankees, Aroldis Chapman

After dropping a hanging slider into the upper portion of the plate against the Houston Astros, New York Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman was left in disbelief. It was almost an awkward silence where the entire universe stood still for a lonely moment when Chapman forced a nervous grin to shoot across his face. He didn’t even turn around to see Jose Altuve’s rocket fly over the left-field wall to end game 7 of the ALCS in the bottom of the ninth inning.

The Yankees closer has been mulling the idea of opting out of the final two years of his existing contract, but it wouldn’t be to spite his current team. It would be a tactic to increase his yearly salary, and the Yankees would have the priority spot at re-signing him for more.

The better question is:

Do the New York Yankees want Aroldis Chapman?

Don’t be silly, of course, the Yankees want Chapman. He just won the American League Closer of the Year award, naming him the top player at his craft in his division. The Bombers aren’t necessarily trying to drop a security blanket that puts out most fires and hitters daily. One lousy pitch doesn’t define how dominant he was during the 2019 campaign.

It’s possible that Chapman stays put and earns the $30 million over the next two years, but his worth has increased, and he knows more money is on the table. How much will he earn, though?

According to MLB.com’s, Mark Feinsand:

The obvious comparison here is Craig Kimbrel, who was hampered by a qualifying offer last offseason, as teams were seemingly hesitant to give up big money and Draft-pick compensation to a closer with declining strikeout and walk numbers. Kimbrel — who ended up struggling with the Cubs — waited until June to sign his three-year, $43 million deal with Chicago, which will pay him $16 million in each of the next two seasons. “Chapman will get more [than Kimbrel],” an AL executive said. “And he won’t have to wait.” The Yankees could bring Chapman back on a longer deal — the executive predicted a four-year, $60 million contract, which would double what he’s currently owed — though there would be other suitors as well.

His 37 overall saves ranked second in the AL this past season, and there’s still plenty of value to be had in regards to the closer. He’s a stellar option late in games and was one of the only Yankee players that didn’t get injured in 2019. If the Yankees can afford him, which they can, they shouldn’t hesitate to re-secure one of the most dominant closers in MLB history.

New York Yankees: Aroldis Chapman Wants To Stay

New York Yankees, Aroldis Chapman

Rumors are circulating that Aroldis Chapman would like to remain on the New York Yankees. He has completed the third year of a five year, $86 million deal but has an opt-out.

Chapman would like a contract extension, and one rather soon. If he doesn’t get the extension that he wants, he will become a free agent. There, he could rework a new deal with the Yankees or sign with another team.

Chapman’s great season has been overshadowed the result of the ALCS. He did give up the walkoff home run that sent the Yankees home, but won the AL Reliever of the Year.

The 31 year old was 3-2 with a 2.21 ERA and 37 saves. He had 85 strikeouts over just 57 innings.

He’s been forced to learn and improve offspeed pitches over the last few seasons. He still throws over 100 MPH, just not as frequently and not quite as hard. He could consistently hit 103 MPH on good days, but 101 MPH still ain’t bad.

It’s been a combination of that and more batters learning to hit extremely fast pitching that’s led to more offspeed pitches, since most high leverage relievers hit at least upper 90’s these days.

Keeping Aroldis Chapman for years to come is a great idea. I just think that the coaching staff and Aaron Boone needs to do a better job with when and how much he pitches. He has always thrived off of pitching every day, and only struggles when he doesn’t pitch for more than a few days.

Hopefully, the Yankees will be able to strike a deal with him to keep him where he wants to be.

New York Yankees: Is Arolid Chapman going to opt-out of contract with Yanks?

New York Yankees, Aroldis Chapman

With New York Yankees reliever, Aroldis Chapman, winning with AL reliever of the year award, he was asked an expected question. Are you going to opt-out of your contract with the Bombers?

Chapman dodged the question and continued with the interview process. This could indicate something, or absolutely nothing — I would bet on the latter.

The fireball throwing lefty has been stellar for the Yankees over three seasons, never having an ERA over 3.22. His two-run blast to Jose Altuve in game six of the ALCS sent the Bombers home early and could’ve spelled the end of his tenure in New York, as a wide grin haunted his face.

The Yankees will surely try to keep Aroldis, who brings energy and stability at the end of every game. He’s a consistent option, and replacing him would be extremely difficult.

New York Yankees: Aroldis Chapman comments on winning the award

“For me to receive this award is an honor because of how much it means to us relievers,’’ Chapman said. “This is my first time winning this award but what makes it really special is having the opportunity to wear the same uniform and to pitch from the same mound as Mariano Rivera.”

Chapman’s appreciation for playing on the Yankees means a lot to him, but he might be able to score a bigger pay-day elsewhere with two-years, $30 million remaining on his contract. If he values the idea of winning a World Series more, he might be inclined to stick around for the remainder of his deal, considering general manager Brian Cashman will likely pursue starting pitching help this offseason.

Even if the lefty does decide to opt-out, Cashman might look to re-sign him for more money. He’s the league’s best closer, and letting him walk would not be advisable, even if doomed the Yanks in the ALCS. He was far from the problem against the Astros, but timing is everything in the postseason.

In theory, Chapman’s best is to opt-out and look for a second contract from the Yankees, including more money. Business is business in the MLB.

New York Yankees: Aroldis Chapman wins reliever of the year award

New York Yankees, Aroldis Chapman

Even though Aroldis Chapman’s last pitch of the season sent the Astros to the World Series and the New York Yankees home, he consistently dominated during the season. As a result, he was given the American League’s best reliever award. Josh Hader of the Milwaukee Brewers won the National League award.

Chapman posted a 2.21 ERA this season in over 57 innings pitched, with 37 saves on the year. Not only did he win this award, but he also was apart of the All-Star game where he closed out the win for the American League team.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Op2_zOi1MM&t=9s

In his ten years playing in the show, Chapman has seven seasons with at least 30 saves – an incredible feat. He’s been one of the premier closers in the game for several years now, feared for his high-heat fastball. However, knowing that players can now catch up to his triple-digit fastball, he’s defined a sharp slider that catches batters guessing.

Oakland Athletic’s Liam Hendricks and Osuna were runners up behind Chapman for the award in the American League, and Giants closer Will Smith followed Hader for the National League.

Chapman, a Cuban native, is a six-time All-Star in his ten-year career. At only 31 years old, he’s still got many years to terrify hitters. He’s also got a World Series ring to stand by, with the Chicago Cubs in 2016.

Chapman is signed to a 5-year/ $86,000,000 contract with a trade option coming up for the 2020 season. The New York Yankees could either keep him on the roster or let him go in a trade.

How the New York Yankees can steal game six of the ALCS against Houston

New York Yankees, Didi Gregorius, Aaron Judge

The New York Yankees grinded out a phenomenal victory against Justin Verlander and the Houston Astros in their final home game before heading down south. Staving off elimination was no easy feat for the Bombers, who rode a four-run first inning to victory, thanks to a DJ LeMahieu leadoff homer and a three-run blast by Aaron Hicks shortly after.

Verlander was immediately stunned and will undoubtedly be disappointed in his performance Friday night, but he did manage to work his way into the seventh inning without allowing a run after his porous first-inning.

The Yankees have a tall task ahead of them in Houston; however, they may hold the advantage due to their solid bullpen. Game six of the ALCS will be what some call a “bullpen game,” as both teams will tap into their reserve pitchers to help either tie the series or close it once and for all.

The Yankees have the advantage in this category, as their bullpen has been stellar throughout the season, but the ALCS has imposed its will at times. The Astros have quality hitters up and down their lineup, which has proven to be difficult, especially in game four, when Chad Green allowed a three-run blast to Carlos Correa to secure the win for Houston.

Green, who has an 11-4 record when opening games this season, will help give the Yanks a running start on Saturday night, a quick turnaround due to a lost game on Wednesday (bad weather).

It seems, though, that starter James Paxton has been the catalyst for the Bombers, as he’s been at the forefront of both their wins, in games one and five. His 112 pitches across six-innings were the headline of the game, as he mowed down nine batters, allowing just four hits and one run. Unfortunately, he cannot pitch every game.

To win game six, the Yankees have to utilize their bullpen strategically. Green needs to take them into the third inning without giving up any significant damage. It’s also possible they elect to star J.A. Happ, despite his struggles this season. If he can step up to the plate and offer three good innings before handing the ball over to Green, that would be more than acceptable.

Here’s the predicted pitching order for the New York Yankees on Saturday:

1.) J.A. Happ

2.) Chad Green

3.) Zack Britton

4.) Tommy Kahnle

5.) Adam Ottavino

6.) Aroldis Chapman

This order will give them an experienced starter to open the game, a trusted relief pitcher to carry them into the latter portion of the contest, and then their primary closers to finish off the Astros. Now, it all comes down to Gary Sanchez catching the ball and not letting pitches fly by him at an astronomical rate. Sooner rather than later, manager Aaron Boone will need to plug LeMahieu in at catcher.

New York Yankees escape crazy injury with closer Aroldis Chapman

New York Yankees, Aroldis Chapman

The New York Yankees pitching has been stellar so far this postseason, allowing just seven total runs over three games. The starting pitching has been solid, the bullpen has been active, and closer, Aroldis Chapman, has done his job to near perfection in his two appearances. Over two innings, he has for strikeouts, two walks, one hit, and no runs allowed.

However, Chapman almost went down with a crazy injury after Monday night’s win, which secured the ALDS for the Yankees and guaranteed them a spot in the ALCS against either the Houston Astros or Tampa Bay Rays.

According to Dan Martin of the New York Post, a bandage was wrapped around Chapman’s left hand, which is also his pitching hand. This occurred after the victory while the team is celebrating in the clubhouse. A bottle of champagne struck the hand of Aroldis, which forced him to ice it and ensure it wouldn’t affect his future performances.

“I was just celebrating, and everyone was jumping around. I got hit with a bottle, but it’s fine,” Chapman stated after the incident.

The New York Yankees almost lost another player on Monday:

In addition to Chapman‘s injury, relief option Zack Britton left in the eighth inning after jamming his ankle at first base. The pitcher stated he would be fine and that he would not miss any time due to the ailment. Having two influential players come close to suffering severe injuries is undoubtedly not how the Yankees envisioned starting their postseason.

Luckily, they were able to escape without anything serious, which is better than the frequency of injuries during the regular season. Chapman has 37 saves on the year, the second-highest in his career. The much-needed rest the Yankees will enjoy due to the sweep of the Twins will give them an advantage going to the ALCS. Houston and Tampa Bay are currently tied up at two apiece and will play the third game on Thursday night.

New York Yankees: Chapman and Britton OK after injury scare

New York Yankees, Aroldis Chapman

The New York Yankees swept the Minnesota Twins in the ALDS and the Yankees had some fun after – maybe too much fun. Closer Aroldis Chapman was hit with a bottle that cut his hand.

There was a concern at first, of course, as the injury bug has bit the Yankees all season. However, Chapman made sure everyone knew he was OK.

“I was just celebrating and everyone was jumping around,” said Chapman. “I got hit with a bottle, but it’s fine.”

General manager Brian Cashman said he realized the injury after giving Chapman a fist-bump. “He had a huge smile on his face, so I think that was a good sign,” Cashman said.

Left-hander Zach Britton left Game 3 of the ALDS early with an apparent ankle injury where he hopped around in the infield. However, it does not seem that this injury will pose a threat for the postseason.

“I’ll be fine,” Britton said reassuringly.

Both relievers will be heavily used in the postseason. Britton, known for his high groundball rate, is a guy the Yankees turn to when in a jam. Chapman, known for the high-heat, will always be the ninth-inning guy to close out the game.

Chapman has pitched just 2.2 innings this year in the postseason and has only allowed one hit through that time. Britton has pitched just an out less than Chapman and has only allowed one hit as well.

The New York Yankees will have a week of rest before heading into the ALCS either playing the Houston Astros or Tampa Bay Rays.