Both the Royals and Padres have some level of interest free-agent lefty Aroldis Chapman, tweets Mark Feinsand of MLB.com. This comes just one day after the Marlins were also reported to have interest in the former Yankees, Cubs and Reds closer.
The 2022 season was a rough one for Chapman, who’ll turn 35 next month. The lefty’s fastball, which once averaged better than 101 mph, dropped to a 97.5 mph average in 2022. Simultaneously, his command troubles spike to their worst levels since back in 2011. Chapman’s 26.9% strikeout rate in 2022 was better than league-average but still a career-low by a wide margin, and he walked a massive 17.5% of his opponents, which is the second-worst mark of his career.
Chapman’s 4.46 ERA was passable but nevertheless the highest of his career, and he missed six weeks of the season with an Achilles injury in addition to a roughly three-week absence owing to a leg infection related to a recent tattoo he’d received. He was also left off the Yankees’ postseason roster after skipping a team workout
Kansas City has taken its share of low-cost gambles on former high-profile closers in recent years, inking Trevor Rosenthal prior to the 2020 season and also bringing former K.C. stars Wade Davis and Greg Holland back for buy-low reunion tours. Chapman would be a page out of a similar playbook.