Aroldis Chapman is staying with the New York Yankees, amending his contract to a $48 million, three-year deal.
The 31-year-old All-Star closer had been owed $15 million in each of the next two seasons as part of an $86 million, five-year contract, and he had the right to opt out of the deal and become a free agent.
The left-hander’s amended deal includes salaries of $16 million annually and a full no-trade provision. Under the original contract, he had a full no-trade through 2019, then a limited no-trade provision that said he could not be dealt during 2020 or 2021 to any of the five California teams or Seattle without his consent.
Chapman had a stellar regular season with the Yankees, converting 37 saves in 42 chances while going 3-2 with a 2.21 ERA and striking out 85 in 57 innings. He earned his sixth All-Star selection and was selected the Reliever of the Year in the American League.
His average fastball velocity has dropped from 101 mph in 2016 to 98 mph this year, and the falloff was even more substantial early in the season before the weather got warm. To compensate for his decreased velocity, he has increased his slider usage from 15% in 2016 to 31% this year.
New York’s season ended when Chapman allowed a walk-off homer to Houston’s José Altuve in Game 6 of the AL Championship Series.
Chapman combined with Zack Britton, Adam Ottavino, Tommy Kahnle and Chad Green to give the Yankees one of the most formidable bullpens in the majors, even with injuries limiting Dellin Betances to one game all season. Betances is a free agent as he recovers from a torn Achilles tendon.
Chapman was acquired from Cincinnati in December 2015 during a domestic violence investigation by Major League Baseball that led to a 29-game suspension at the start of the 2016 season. He was traded to the Chicago Cubs that July in the deal that brought All-Star infielder Gleyber Torres to New York.
Chapman helped the Cubs win their first World Series title since 1908, then became a free agent and returned to the Yankees in 2017.
— Ronald Blum