The Kansas City Royals inked veteran relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman on Thursday. Chapman will make $3.75 million on a one-year deal as the newest member of the Royals bullpen.
The former elite closer is coming off a horrendous season with the New York Yankees. Chapman’s struggles became more magnified as the season went on, as he actually had a fantastic start. The former Red logged five saves and allowed zero earned runs in April.
It was all downhill from there, as Chapman had an ERA near 10 in May before missing six weeks because of an Achilles issue. The nail in the coffin of his Yankees career came when the team left the former lights-out stopper off their postseason roster.
The 34-year-old did clean things up to finish strong last year. While not in the highest-leverage situations, the big lefty strung together five straight September appearances without allowing a run while giving up just a single hit.
It doesn’t seem like KC will use Chapman in the closer role, as Scott Barlow established himself as the team’s stopper with a career-high 24 saves last season. He could become the setup man with a chance at regaining closer status should Barlow falter or get hurt.
FanDuel Sportsbook has the Royals near the bottom of the World Series futures board, and they are also dead last to win their own division with +4000 odds.