Yankees and Aroldis Chapman Agree to Deal: Fantasy Fallout

The Yankees got their man back. Late Wednesday night, the news broke that Aroldis Chapman was going back to New York. How does this impact closer rankings?

Was there ever any doubt?

The New York Yankees were the only team anyone thought that was going to re-sign Aroldis Chapman. And that’s exactly what they did Wednesday night. Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports tweeted out the news. He’s been very busy these last couple of days. Luckily for Yankees fans, the team didn’t sign him for the $100 million he was looking for. Now that he’s back in New York, what can we expect from Chapman?

We all know how dominant Chapman was with the Cincinnati Reds. Many, including myself, thought there would be some decline with the move to the American League East. Surprisingly, or not, he was just as good if not better.

In 31 games, he was suspended for the first 30 days, he posted a 2.01 ERA, 0.894 WHIP and 20 saves. He also had a 12.6 K/9 and 2.3 BB/9 in 31.1 innings.

Knowing he was a free agent at the end of the season, the Yankees were able to trade him for Gleybar Torres and other prospect to the Chicago Cubs.

With the Cubs, Chapman was even better. In 28 regular season games, he had a 1.01 ERA, 0.825 WHIP and 16 saves.

This was fifth consecutive season with at least 33 saves. His K/9 went up to 15.5, but so did his BB/9 at 3.4 with Chicago. There were rumors that the Miami Marlins were in the mix for Chapman, but that would have been a bad destination for his fantasy value.

The offense wouldn’t have been able to support their pitching and the rotation wouldn’t be able to hold a lead long enough to get to Chapman.

With the projected Yankees offense, they will have a better chance to score enough runs to have a lead in the ninth inning. The only thing the team needs is another good starting pitcher, but the market doesn’t help their cause.

Dellin Betances now moves back into the setup role, a position he’s had great success. Pitching in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings last season, he had a 2.61 ERA, 0.987 WHIP and 81:15 K:BB ratio. In the ninth inning alone, he had a 5.40 ERA, 1.309 WHIP and 40:7 K:BB ratio.

Keeping him out of the ninth inning will benefit his fantasy value and the Yankees overall. He easily ranks inside my top-20 relievers and could even be inside the top 15. The strikeouts and low ratio stats make him valuable in standard leagues and even more valuable in holds leagues.

Entering next season, Chapman my top closer. Fellow free agent Kenley Jansen (for now) and Baltimore Orioles closer Zach Britton round out my top three. With a full season awaiting him, he should post over 30 saves again with a sub-2.50 ERA.

Owners are hoping John Maddon didn’t wear out his arm during the World Series.