The 31-year-old could have opted out of the final two years of his contract, but $18 million from New York changed his mind. He was already set to make $30 million over the next two seasons, as the former Cincinnati Reds closer looks to win his second World Series, and first with the Yankees. He was a member of the Chicago Cubs when he won his first World Series title in 2016.
This is his second stint with the Yankees, as he signed a five-year, $86 million after getting traded to the Cubs following a domestic violence suspension. He first debuted with New York in 2016, and in his first 10 years in the league, nobody has a higher strikeout rate than him at 14.8 per nine innings. This past season saw Chapman strike out 85 batters over 57 innings with 37 saves and a 2.21 ERA.
Although, despite posting the sixth-lowest home run rate, he did surrender the walk-off home run to Jose Altuve of the Houston Astros in Game 7 of the ALCS, ending the Yankees season in October. Now that we know Chapman will not be available, the likes of Will Smith, Dellin Betances, and Daniel Hudson headline the group of free agent relievers.