The Pittsburgh Pirates have bolstered their bullpen, agreeing to a deal with free agent flamethrower Aroldis Chapman, a source confirmed to Pittsburgh Baseball Now. Baseball insider Francys Romero was first with news of the agreement.
The deal, which is pending a physical, is for one-year and $10.5 million. It is the largest free agent deal handed out by the Pirates under general manager Ben Cherington.
Chapman, who turns 36 years old next month, was part of the World Series champion Texas Rangers this past season after joining them from the Kansas City Royals at the trade deadline. The left-hander finished the year 6-5 with a 3.09 ERA across 61 appearances between the two teams. In 58.1 combined innings, Chapman struck out 103 batters and totaled six saves.
Chapman averaged 99.6 mph on his fastball last year, which marked his highest average on the pitch since 2017. He also averaged 88.1 mph on his slider, the second-highest average in any season of his career.
Chapman’s resumé is a lengthy one. He has been an All-Star seven times, won the American League Reliever of the Year in 2019 and has a pair of World Series rings.
Over his 14-year-career between the Cincinnati Reds, New York Yankees, Chicago Cubs, Royals and Rangers, Chapman has a 2.53 ERA with 321 saves in 728 career appearances and has recorded 1,148 strikeouts.
His 321 saves rank third amongst active players behind Kenley Jansen (420) and Craig Kimbrel (417). Since making his debut in 2010, he is third in strikeouts among all relievers, also behind Jansen and Kimbrel, and is third in strikeouts per nine innings (14.80).
For the Pirates, Aroldis Chapman joins a bullpen that includes the likes of David Bednar, Colin Holderman, Carmen Mlodzinski, Dauri Moreta and fellow left-hander Ryan Borucki.
Chapman is the fourth free agent the Pirates have landed this offseason, joining Andrew McCutchen, Martín Pérez and Rowdy Tellez. All four agreements have been one-year deals.