Money can be a major incentive. That was not the case with new Kansas City Royals closer Aroldis Chapman.
According to reports, Chapman had received an offer from the Padres that would have paid more than the $3.75 million he is due to receive in Kansas City. The reason – he wanted to close and that would not be the case in San Diego.
Kansas City Royals provided Aroldis Chapman want he wanted
The Royals were not the only team interested in Chapman as their closer. He also reportedly had an offer from the Marlins, although their $2 million offer was far less than he will receive in Kansas City.
It does make sense as to why Chapman would have chosen the Royals. The ninth inning is wide open there, and with a strong showing in Kansas City, he could land a much better deal next offseason. His injury and command woes, coupled with the bad look from when he walked away from the Yankees ahead of the postseason, would fade away with a strong enough season. If he can be a dominant closer again, his future earnings will only increase.
He was not going to get that chance in San Diego. Josh Hader is entrenched as their closer barring injury. The Padres would have been Chapman’s best chance at the postseason based on his known suitors, but would have potentially limited his ability to earn a larger contract during the 2023-24 free agency period.
Chapman could still find his way to a contending team by the end of the year regardless. The Royals are likely going to battle for the first overall pick and a spot in the lottery. If Chapman returns to form, he is going to be a hot commodity at the trade deadline. Turning down the better team for the opportunity to close, knowing that the Royals are likely to send him elsewhere in a few months anyway, makes sense for his future.
Aroldis Chapman turned down more money from a better team to sign with the Kansas City Royals. It was a smart move for his future.