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The Bronx is burning with return of flame-throwing closer Aroldis Chapman

Aroldis Chapman (Credit: Jim McIsaac)

Aroldis Chapman (Credit: Jim McIsaac)

He’s back…

The yanks got their man. Aroldis Chapman and his electric fastball are heading back to the Bronx on a five year 86 million dollar deal that makes him the highest paid reliever in the history of baseball. The deal includes a three year no trade clause, which also prohibits him from being traded to any west coast team throughout the entirety of the contract.

Chapman was the prize jewel of a free agent class loaded with talented relievers with nasty stuff. Kenley Janson, and Mark Melancon were the other two all-star closers on the market. Kenley Janson was also on the Yankees radar but he also had a 1st round draft pick compensation, attached to his 80 million dollar asking price. Signing Janson wouldn’t’ make sense for a rebuilding Yankees team that needs its draft picks to build towards the future. Mark Melanceon came up through the Yankees farm system as a promising prospect but was traded to the Houston Astros in 2010 for Lane Berkman. He then became a dominant closer after a quick stint with the red sox. Pittsburg is where he flourished in the ninth inning becoming a three time all star. He was traded to the Washington Nationals this summer and helped them capture the National League east division title. Now he’s on his way to San Francisco with a four year 62 million dollar deal that made him the games highest paid reliever before Chapman and the Yankees shattered that number.

Chapman had expressed his interest in a possible reunion even before he was traded this summer. He was said, “I feel very comfortable and happy here in the city… At the same time, this is a business and if I happen to be traded away, I’m pretty sure they’re going to be doing it for the good of the team…That being said, if the opportunity comes up where I can come back to the team, I would be more than happy” ( The return of the all star flame thrower creates an obvious strength for a young team in transition that it still trying to compete in 2017. With a lead after six and the all-star trio of Cliippard, Betances, and Chapman lurking in the bullpen, victory is all but certain for the Bombers.

Chapman’s two month rental to the Cubs paid dividends for the north-siders, bringing the first World Series Championship to Wrigley Field in over a century. Chapman took part in securing all four World Series victories for the Cubs with two saves, and a win coming after a blown save in game seven. He threw 107 pitches in a four game span, an astronomical amount for a guy who is use to throwing one inning. The Yankees also reaped the benefit of the trade by acquiring the Cubs number one prospect, shortstop Gleyber Torres and Billy Mckinny along with two other prospects.

The Yanks new number one prospect won the Arizone Fall League MVP at the age of 19, becoming the youngest to receive the honor. He finished the fall season with a .403/.513/.645 slash line (Avg/OBP/SLG). He finished he regular season at High-A Tampa with .270/.354/.421 with 21 doubles, 11 homers, and 21 stolen bases, and making sparkling plays at shortstop and second base, displaying all five tools. Billy Mckinny sits at sixteen on the Yankees list of top prospects. The former first round pick is a promising outfielder with a good approach at the plate. Brian Cashman is the true mastermind behind this Yankees rebuild paying a total of 86 million dollars for a new number one prospect, a deeper farm system, and a top closer all in a 5 month span. The main focus behind these moves is bringing a title contender in 2019 with the development of excellent prospects and a star studded 2018 free agent class.

The question remains, will Chapman stay healthy and is he capable of sustaining his velocity through the entirety of his contract? The Yankees believe so, and he will create an excitement and buzz around the stadium for fans the way he did in the first half of the 2016 season and carry over the momentum of Gary Sanchez’s emergence to get fans to fill the seats at 161st street this summer.

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Spencer is the New York Yankees Lead Writer for
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