The New York Yankees will reportedly be hesitant to spend the money free agent closer Aroldis Chapman is seeking this offseason.
While still front runners, George A. King of the NY Post reports that their willingness to cash a check could deviate if he “really is looking for five years and $100 million.”
Chapman, who struck out 12.6 batters per nine innings with the Yankees before being traded to Chicago, owns the most strikeouts (617) among major league baseball relievers since 2011 and is expected to surpass Jonathan Papelbon as the highest paid closer.
However, is a deal in the $100 million range worth it? Well, looks like Brian Cashman and co. are evaluating that.
Sportrac estimates his market value to be worth a four-year, $56 million deal with a yearly salary of just over $14 million. One can safely assume he’ll receive a five-year deal, so he is arguably worth a little more than $70 million.
Now, for the record, there is no doubt Chapman is an enormous asset for any team but New York could easily find similar production out of the other two members of the trio of top tier closers.
Spotrac also estimates Mark Melancon’s market value to be able to wheel in a contract in the range of three-years and $10.1 million per year, more than half of what flamethrowing Cuban is seeking — which could be an absolute bargain.
Since 2013, Melancon has maintained a 1.80 ERA compared to Chapman’s 1.93 while giving up three fewer home runs, 59 fewer walks and a higher strikeout to walk ratio in 48 more innings of work.
Melancon also comes up big when it matters the most. Since 2014 the former Yankees’ draft pick has not allowed a single earned run while maintaining an opponent’s slash line of .182/.250/.182.
The third option is not an afterthought here, as Kenley Jansen is also what every manager wants in a closer but since the Los Angeles Dodgers offered him a qualifying offer, he will cost whichever team that signs him a draft pick.
While Chapman may be fun and having him with Dellin Betances will be a neat duo at the back-end, even the three-headed monster wasn’t beneficial when the offense, rotation and the middle relief couldn’t get the job done.
Like I’ve mentioned before, Melancon’s lower salary yet similar results comes with the ability to pursue improvements to other aspects of the team.
It’ll be interesting to see how the contract demands by Chapman play out. It shouldn’t startle anyone if, in the end, he’s closing for the Bombers in 2017.