Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Aroldis Chapman to sign with Pirates: Former All-Star closer agrees to one-year, $10.5M deal

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The Pittsburgh Pirates and free-agent reliever Aroldis Chapman have agreed to a one-year, $10.5 million deal, CBS Sports HQ insider Jim Bowden has confirmed.

The veteran lefty is coming off a 2023 season in which he pitched to a 3.09 ERA for the Royals and World Series champion Rangers with 103 strikeouts in 58 1/3 innings. He also showed his best fastball velocity in several years, as his four-seamer averaged better than 99 mph this past season. 

Coming into the offseason, we at CBS Sports ranked Chapman as the No. 40 available free agent. Here’s part of what we wrote about him: 

“Chapman appeared near the end of the line in 2022. He had a miserable season, punctuated by his decision to skip an October team workout that resulted in the Yankees leaving him off their playoff roster. Chapman was down so bad that he signed a cheap one-year deal with the Royals. He must’ve taken the lack of interest personally, since he showed up with his hardest fastball in years and authored his best season since 2019. He’s still a little too prone to handing out free passes, but someone will trust him with a high-leverage role.”

Chapman, a seven-time All-Star who turns 36 in late February, will enter the 2024 season with 321 career saves. That’s good for 21st place on the all-time list.

The Pirates already have an All-Star closer in David Bednar, however, so it seems like Chapman won’t be racking up the saves and will instead serve in a setup capacity like he did for the most part last season, saving just six games in 61 appearances. 

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