New York Yankees fans can breathe a sigh of relief, as their flamethrowing closer might not be abruptly hitting the open market this offseason after all.
Despite a report that claimed Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman was "1 million percent" going to opt out of the last two years of his contract following this season, the Cuban hurler shut that buzz down in a hurry, insisting he hasn't event entertained the idea with his agent.
The 31-year-old closer and six-time All-Star hasn't lost his signature triple-digit velocity, and has ridden that signature heater to a 2.45 ERA and an AL-best 25 saves to date. After acquiring him from Cincinnati in 2016 in a deal that gave the Reds three prospects who haven't done much of anything since, the Yankees flipped him to the Cubs at the deadline, which brought Gleyber Torres into the Yankee farm system.
After he got his ring on the North Side, Chapman signed a five-year, $86 million deal to return to the Yankees, and has since rewarded them with 79 saves in two-plus seasons.
For as much attention as the Yankees draw for their home runs, their bullpen remains a team strength. Losing Chapman could be catastrophic, but at least it sounds like he doesn't have his mind set on testing the free agency waters so soon.