Start spreading the news: Aroldis Chapman wants to make a brand-new start of it, in old New York.
The highly coveted Cuban closer – expected to command a record-breaking deal in free agency this winter – spent three months in the Bronx before a July trade to Chicago, and the 29-year-old said Tuesday he’d be very down to wear the pinstripes again.
“The organization treated me first class,” Chapman told Ray Negron of NY Sports Day. “And the fans were like no other. I would love to be a Yankee again.”
The feeling is mutual. Brian Cashman, the Yankees‘ longtime general manager, said last week he’s interested in bringing back Chapman, a four-time All-Star who fashioned a 2.01 ERA and 36.7 percent strikeout rate, while converting all but one of his 21 save opportunities with New York in 2016.
On Tuesday, Cashman hinted the market for Chapman – who’s not attached to draft-pick compensation – is still coming into focus, while the hard-throwing left-hander has already been linked to the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers this offseason. All else being equal, though, Chapman appears inclined to sign with the Yankees, Cashman suggested.
“I know he did express to me that he really enjoyed it here,” Cashman told Newsday’s Anthony Rieber. “Obviously, yeah, I think he’d love to come back here. You have to negotiate and find out what his market value is and then he’ll make a final decision. But yeah, I’ve been communicated with that he loves it here and would love to come back. But at the same time he’s going to do what’s best for his family, so we’re going to wait and see where the market goes.
“I think if all things are equal it helps,” Cashman continued. “But again, the biggest thing typically 99 times out of 100 … usually market value determines where players play.”