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Aroldis Chapman Adds Extra Year With Yankees Instead of Opting Out

The Yankees have extended closer Aroldis Chapman’s contract for an additional season on top of the two years remaining on his deal, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan.

Chapman, 31, had until Saturday night to opt out of his deal and forgo the $30 million left on the five-year, $86 million contract that he signed before the 2017 season. Instead, the lefthander isn’t just staying in New York, but he’ll be there through the 2022 season and make an additional $18 million, per Passan.

Chapman’s decision to remain with the Yankees for three more years, instead of entering free agency, comes following the diminished market for top relief pitchers last offseason, most notably Craig Kimbrel.

From 2011–18, Kimbrel had been the better closer of the two, posting a 1.97 ERA and 332 saves compared to Chapman’s 2.24 ERA and 236 saves. Yet, Kimbrel had to wait until June 7 for the Cubs to sign him, and even that deal was less than he was expecting to get at the end of the 2018 campaign. Chicago scooped up the 31-year-old righty for three years, $43 million with a team option for a fourth year. Kimbrel posted a 6.53 ERA in 23 games and battled injuries this season.

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Still, last season's slow market may not have had much or any impact on Chapman’s decision to stay with the Yankees—he has indicated previously that he likes playing for them. He signed that record-setting five-year deal after they traded him at the 2016 trade deadline to Chicago, where he played an integral part in the Cubs’ first World Series title in 108 years.

In 10 major-league seasons, Chapman has a 2.21 ERA and 883 strikeouts in 550 games (535 2/3 innings). He ranks fourth among active pitchers with 273 saves.