The Kansas City Royals have reached an agreement with free-agent closer Aroldis Chapman, according to MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand. CBS Sports HQ has confirmed the deal is for one year and $3.75 million, pending a physical.
Chapman, 34, is coming off a most disappointing season. In 43 appearances as a member of the New York Yankees, he amassed a 4.46 ERA and a 1.54 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Chapman’s 88 ERA+ marked the worst of his big-league career, a career that spans parts of 13 big-league seasons.
Chapman’s season was honeycombed with lowlights in other respects, too. He required a stint on the injured list because of an infection that stemmed from a tattoo procedure on his leg. Later in the year, he missed out on making the playoff roster after skipping a workout. Even before Chapman bailed on the workout, it had been rumored that the Yankees were considering designating him for assignment based on what had been a shoddy season of work.
The Royals are ostensibly hoping they can help Chapman discover some of the past success that made him, for a time, one of the game’s top relievers. If that outcome seems unlikely, then a more probable one would have him serving as an upgrade over some of their internal options. Prior to inking Chapman, the Royals were slated to have a bullpen that featured three lefties: Amir Garrett, Richard Lovelady, and Anthony Misiewicz.
Chapman, for his career, has notched more than 300 saves and has posted a 2.48 ERA (167 ERA+) and a 3.29 strikeout-to-walk ratio. His contributions have been worth an estimated 19 Wins Above Replacement, according to Baseball Reference’s calculations. It should be noted that Chapman was also the first player suspended under Major League Baseball’s domestic violence policy when he was banned for 30 games during the 2016 season.