According to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, Chapman is “one million percent” planning to opt out and hit free agency rather than playing out the final two years, and collecting the $30 million on his contract.
Chapman, 31, is one of the majors’ best relievers and is showing again in 2019 that he is one of the best, posting a 2.45 ERA with 25 saves in 29 chances, and making the All-Star team for the 6th time, 2nd while with the Yankees.
Chapman is rolling to dice with this decision. Chicago Cubs closer Craig Kimbrel struggled to land a lucrative, long-term deal on the open market, a market that proved to be slow and unfruitful for many top-tier players.
Chapman will also be turning 32, and has had a number of off-field issues pop up throughout his career.
Should the Yankees take home a World Series championship, Chapman may find his potential foray into free agency a bit more palatable, but there has been a strong indicator that teams are not as willing to break the bank for closers as they once were, so leaving $30 million on the table may not turn out to be such a good decision for Chapman when it’s all said and done.