The closer market seems to be heating up.
Earlier today, the San Francisco Giants agreed to a deal with former Pittsburgh Pirates closer Mark Melancon. A recent report has also suggested that the Miami Marlins could aggressively pursue former Los Angeles Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen, perhaps to the tune of a rumored five-year, $80 million contract. Fomer Chicago Cubs closer Aroldis Chapman is now in the news. According to a report from ESPN’s Marty Rivera, Chapman went on record saying that he’s searching for a six-year contract.
“The only thing I have expressed is that I would like a six-year contract. I know that doesn’t mean that I will get it, but that’s what I would like to sign. There are rumors out there that I requested $100 million and that’s not true at all. I believe he who deserves something, does not need to demand it.”
Those were Chapman’s exact words during his conversation with Marty Rivera. Numerous reports have suggested that Chapman could demand upwards of $100 million in any deal he signs. After hearing it from the man himself, those reports appear to be inaccurate.
Chapman, 28, is arguably the best closer on the market this winter. Having five straight seasons with at least 30 saves, and four of those five years with a sub-2.50 ERA, Chapman has solidified his case as the best closer in all of baseball. His six-year stint with the Cincinnati Reds came to a shaky end last year, as he dealt with a domestic violence case, that resulted in Chapman serving a 50-game suspension. The domestic violence case also negated a reported trade to the Los Angeles Dodgers, a move that opened the door for his eventual trade to the New York Yankees.
The flame-throwing lefty was dealt once again over the summer, this time, being shipped out to the Chicago Cubs for a package that included top prospect Gleyber Torres. Upon his arrival in Chicago, the southpaw finished the season with 16 saves, and a 1.01 ERA in 26.2 innings of work. Chapman played a large part in the Cubs postseason run, that finally saw them end their 108-year championship drought.
In speaking with Rivera, the 28 year-old practically ruled out a return to Chicago, noting that “The Cubs have never expressed any interest” in bringing him back, to his knowledge.