Dodgers Free Agency Rumors: Aroldis Chapman Not Offered 2-Year Contract

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Along with traditional MLB insiders, free agency reports this offseason have come from Carlos Baerga, who recently said Aroldis Chapman received a two-year contract offer from the Los Angeles Dodgers.

On the surface, there was one reason to believe the Dodgers held interest in the left-hander as they don’t have a clear-cut closer in place. Craig Kimbrel struggled in the role last season and has since signed a one-year contract with the Philadelphia Phillies.

However, that Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman would make a multi-year contract offer to a veteran closer — particularly when factoring in Chapman’s personal history — seemed farfetched.

According to Mike DiGiovanna of the L.A. Times, the Dodgers did not make an offer to Chapman and don’t have interest in signing him:

Several rumors floating around today about the #Dodgers being interested in veteran closer Aroldis Chapman, one claiming team has offered him a two-year deal. Neither is true. Two sources familiar with team’s thinking say LA is not involved in the bidding for the embattled LHP.

— Mike DiGiovanna (@MikeDiGiovanna) January 5, 2023

Chapman is coming off a third consecutive subpar season in which he went 4-4 with a 4.46 ERA, 4.57 FIP, 1.43 WHIP and only registered nine saves. Chapman’s final save last year came May 17, and he was on the 15-day injured list from
August 24 through September 16 due to an infection in his leg caused by a tattoo.

The 34-year-old was likely going to be left off the New York Yankees’ playoff roster for the American League Division Series because of inconsistent performance, but his fate was sealed by skipping a mandatory workout.

The Yankees are not expected to have interest in re-signing Chapman. His market is unclear, and although Baerga appears to have been incorrect in this instance, he did correctly break news of Justin Verlander signing with the New York Yankees, and the Boston Red Sox agreeing to a contract extension with Rafael Devers.

Dodgers backed away from Aroldis Chapman trade

During the 2015 Winter Meetings, the Dodgers reached an agreement with the Cincinnati Reds on a Chapman trade. However, the flamethrower then became the subject of a domestic dispute, which was enough for the Dodgers to back away from the deal, and Chapman was ultimately traded to the Yankees.

Prior to pitching for his new team, Chapman was suspended 30 games by MLB commissioner Rob Manfred under the league’s joint domestic violence and sexual assault policy.

Considering the situation the Dodgers find themselves in with Trevor Bauer, signing Chapman would have been further problematic and raised additional questions for the front office.

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