The Yankees are rolling along. The next four months or so will be nothing but a formality before the postseason begins. But they do have a situation brewing in their bullpen.
Aroldis Chapman will return from an Achilles injury soon. When he comes off the injured list, the Yankees have a call to make: Do they make the inconsistent, but highly-paid, Chapman the closer? Or do they stick with Clay Holmes, who has been brilliant this season?
“It’s one of the biggest decisions the Yankees have to make this year,” Mike Francesa opined on his latest BetRivers podcast.
So, should the Yankees give Chapman his job back?
“I don’t think they should,” the WFAN legend said. “I don’t think he’s earned it.”
It’s hard to disagree with Francesa. Chapman has been unreliable for a while now. And while he still throws hard, all of his tell-tale metrics are in decline. Holmes, on the other hand, has been lights-out. This seems like an open-and-shut case. Holmes stays the closer and Chapman becomes a setup man, if that — he could be a tradeable asset given he is in the final year of his contract.
But manager Aaron Boone has left the door open to let Chapman close again, either in a platoon with Holmes or as a full-timer. And the money-conscious Yankees might have a hard time swallowing the fact they are paying Chapman $18 million to work the seventh and eighth innings. So giving him the job back appears to be on the table, despite evidence that endorses the contrary.
Francesa believes the Yankees would regret doing that.
“I don’t think Chapman is a good bet in the postseason,” he said. “I don’t trust him. I didn’t trust him the last couple of years. I would not give him his job back.”
James Kratch can be reached at [email protected]