The Kansas City Royals are off to a brutal start as expected, but there is one notable bright spot in their bullpen: Aroldis Chapman. The veteran lefty is dealing early on and that’s already garnering the interest of numerous teams on the trade market. Via Ken Rosenthal:
“The more intriguing development is that the Royals already are receiving calls on Aroldis Chapman, according to major-league sources who were granted anonymity so they could speak candidly. Chapman, who signed a one-year, $3.75 million, free-agent contract, is averaging 99.3 mph with his fastball and 87.9 mph with his slider, his highest velocities with those pitches since 2017 and ‘16, respectively.”
Not only is Chapman pumping absolutely cheddar, but he’s also throwing more strikes, which has been an issue in years past. The southpaw owns a 2.84 ERA in 12.2 innings, striking out 20 while issuing just six free passes.
It’s unknown who is currently eyeing the Royals flamethrower, but you’d have to imagine it would be contenders that are looking to strengthen the back end of their bullpen.
Last season was an absolute nightmare for Chapman. It was all drama during his time with the New York Yankees in 2022, struggling to find any success.
For the Royals, it makes total sense to cash in on a Chapman trade. They’re rebuilding and if a ball club comes along and offers prospects in return, it’s a win for Kansas City. Something could materialize this month even, but it would require another organization to likely overpay for the Cuban.
Most of all, it’s just nice to see Aroldis Chapman refind himself.
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