As the Yankees explore the trade market for bullpen arms, they should consider not only whether a target can help them for 2019, but also for 2020 and beyond, depending on his contract/service time status. Because the Yankees could lose as many as two significant bullpen pieces this offseason.
Dellin Betances’ walk year has been a disaster so far, the gigantic right-hander spending the entire season on the injured list with right shoulder and lat injuries.
On the other side of the spectrum, Aroldis Chapman — who returned to the Yankees from the Cubs after the 2016 season, signing a five-year, $86-million contract — remains among the game’s elite closers, having just picked up the save for the AL in the All-Star Game. Consequently you wonder whether he’ll opt out, as he can, of the two years and $34.4 million he’ll have remaining on his deal after this season.
“Honestly, I haven’t been thinking about that at all,” Chapman said during the All-Star festivities, through an interpreter, “because through these years, I’ve dealt with some injuries. So the concentration and the focus was to stay healthy this year and try to have a good season. It hasn’t even crossed my mind.”
It should eventually. In his age-31 season, Chapman has stayed healthy and increased his strikeouts-to-walks ratio from the past couple of seasons. As long as that continues, it seems reasonable to think he can beat what he has left as long as he doesn’t overreach, like Craig Kimbrel did last winter.
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