Rangers sign Aroldis Chapman from Royals for LHP and OF prospect

Aroldis Chapman in Kansas City Royals colors.

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Former Yankees pitcher Aroldis Chapman is on the move again. On Friday, the Kansas City Royals made the announcement stating that they have traded him to the Texas Rangers. In exchange, the Royals received left-handed pitcher Cole Ragans and 17-year-old outfielder prospect Roni Cabrera. This trade marks the end of Aroldis Chapman’s short time playing for the Royals.

Aroldis Chapman has been performing extremely well this season, with an earned run average (ERA) of 2.45. This is his best ERA since his 2019 season with the Yankees though he has garnered only two saves so far. Due to his strong performance, Chapman became a popular target for other teams interested in trading for him. This is because the Royals have been struggling this season, with a record of 23-58, which is one of the worst in the major leagues.

Aroldis Chapman in Texas

The Texas Rangers have been having a great season and are considered a breakout success. Currently, they are leading the AL West division by a margin of five games. To further strengthen their bullpen, which is currently ranked 24th in the league with a 4.37 ERA, the Rangers have made this move to acquire Aroldis Chapman.

The ex-Yankee himself has been having an impressive season, experiencing a resurgence in his performance. Aroldis Chapman’s fastball velocity has been particularly outstanding, with an average speed of 99.6 mph. This is his highest recorded velocity since 2017, indicating a return to his elite form on the mound. He leads the MLB record with the highest velocity.

Aroldis Chapman in a lighter mood.

The left-handed reliever, although he has only recorded two saves this year, has been exceptional when pitching in the late innings. Aroldis Chapman struck out an impressive average of 16.26 batters per nine innings. In his new team, the Texas Rangers, he will probably be in competition with another reliever named Will Smith. Smith has already accumulated 14 saves this season and holds a solid 2.73 ERA. 

The Royals without Aroldis Chapman

The Royals, who are not in a strong position to compete this season, decided to send Ragans to Triple-A and assigned Cabrera to the Royals’ Dominican Summer League team. Ragans, a 25-year-old left-handed pitcher, has a career earned run average (ERA) of 5.32 in the limited time he has played in the major leagues, covering 64 ¹/₃ innings.

Cabrera, who previously played on the Rangers’ Dominican Summer League team, is not currently listed among the top 30 prospects on MLB.com’s rankings. However, he has been performing well this year with an on-base plus slugging percentage (OPS) of 1.089 in 64 plate appearances.

After spending seven seasons with the Yankees, Aroldis Chapman had an impressive record with 153 saves, 453 strikeouts, and a 2.94 earned run average (ERA). However, last offseason he signed with the Royals on a one-year contract worth $3.75 million.

Chapman’s time with the Yankees came to a disappointing conclusion when he struggled with a 4.46 ERA in 2022. Additionally, he missed a team workout before the playoffs, resulting in him being left off the postseason roster.

Throughout his career, spanning 669 innings, Aroldis Chapman has maintained a strong 2.47 ERA and accumulated 317 saves.

What do you think of him? Leave your comment below.

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