A report suggesting that Aroldis Chapman is leaning toward opting out of his New York Yankees at season’s end is false
So says Chapman himself after taking to Twitter to deny a report from The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal that stated Chapman was ‘1 million percent’ going to opt out of his contract following the 2019 season.
Don’t always believe what you hear in the media. Yankee 100% pic.twitter.com/H1IcfO9V2s— Aroldis Chapman (@AChapman_105) July 17, 2019
Chapman expanded on his denial through his interpreter while speaking to the media before Wednesday’s rainout against the Tampa Bay Rays.
"The report is completely false," Chapman said. "I haven't even spoken to my agent about it. Like I said before, we have a big task in front of us, which is to win the division and win the World Series. That's the main focus for me right now. Contract stuff hasn't even crossed my mind at all."
According to Rosenthal’s report, a player close to Chapman said his decision to opt out was basically a done deal. Chapman is in the third year of a five-year, $86 million deal.
Following 2019, there will be two years and $34.4 million left on Chapman’s contract, according to Cots Contracts. The 31-year-old Chapman could surpass that figure on the market. Rosenthal points to Craig Kimbrel’s three-year, $43 million deal with the Chicago Cubs as evidence Chapman would want to hit the market.
Chapman has put up excellent numbers for the Yankees in 2019. He has a 2.45 ERA over 36 2/3 innings. Chapman has struck out 53 hitters over that period.
Assuming Chapman is not traded, the Yankees can place a qualifying offer on him next offseason. If Chapman declines that offer, teams would have to give up a draft pick to sign him.
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.
There’s a lot of time between now and when Chapman has to make his decision. It’s possible we won’t know his true intentions until that very moment.
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