Aroldis Chapman reportedly expected to opt out of contract

Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman said it's

Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman said it's"absolutely false that he plans to opt out of his contract after this season. )David Petkiewicz

It appears this season could be Aroldis Chapman's last with the New York Yankees.

The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal, citing sources, reported Wednesday that Chapman, 31, will enter free agency and forfeit the final two years and $30 million of the five-year, $86 million contract he signed in December 2016.

Following 2019, there will be two years and $34.4 million left on Chapman's contract, according to Cots Contracts. But he's still been very effective as New York's closer, recording 25 saves, a 2.45 ERA, a 1.12 WHIP, a 2.09 FIP and 13 strikeouts per nine innings in 39 appearances spanning 36 2/3 frames this season.

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The mystique surrounding Chapman has worn off a bit, as he hasn't been quite as dominant in recent years. However, Craig Kimbrel recently signed a three-year, $43 million contract with the Cubs. Chapman has struck out 53 hitters over that period.

It's fair to say that Chapman fits into that group and, I think it's safe to say, more teams would take him than those guys if they were all freely available. Heck, opting out, getting slapped with a qualifying offer, accepting it and then hitting the market unencumbered after the 2020 season would stand him in better financial stead than if he didn't opt-out in the first place.

Chapman should still exceed $34 million in that scenario, but he may have to go the Kimbrel route and wait until June to sign his next deal.

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