MLB 2023 | Aroldis Chapman to the Royals, Yuli Gurriel's future still uncertain
Major League Baseball (MLB) and other Cuban Players News for the 2022-2023 offseason. A compendium from several sources
An agreement has been reached between the Royals and free agent left-hander Aroldis Chapman, according to Mark Feinsand of MLB.com.
Given the presence of an established closer in Scott Barlow, who tallied a career-high 24 saves last season, and the Royals' rebuilding process, which emphasizes developing young pitchers, Chapman's signing is a bit perplexing. In exchange for prospects, Kansas City could trade the veteran southpaw to a contender. For the Yankees, Chapman had a 4.46 ERA, 1.43 WHIP and 43/28 K/BB ratio over 36 1/3 innings (43 appearances) last season. The Royals will likely use him as a setup pitcher, but he could also snag an occasional save opportunity. For seven seasons, Chapman played for the Yankees, including one season as a Cub in 2016. He will turn 35 on February 28. During his time with the Bombers, Chapman compiled 153 saves and averaged 13.9 K/9 in 315 appearances. With a career ERA of 2.48 and 1,045 strikeouts over 640 innings in the big leagues, the hard-throwing lefty is a seven-time All-Star (four as a Red, three as a Yankee).
According to Craig Mish of SportsGrid, the Marlins have had conversations with free agent first baseman Yuli Gurriel.
Gurriel, who sustained a right knee injury during the World Series, could share time at the cold corner with Garrett Cooper in Miami this year, if both sides can strike a deal. After hitting .242/.288/.360 across 584 plate appearances last season in Houston, the veteran slugger showed early signs of declining. The AL batting champion in 2021 with a .319 average had the third-largest decline among 167 qualified hitters in 22. In addition, his OPS dropped 199 points, from .846 to .647, with an overall slash line of .242/.288/.360, way below his career mark of .284/.328/.448 (.776 OPS). However, before getting injured in the 2022 postseason, Gurriel was hitting .347 (17-for-49) with two homers and four RBIs, including 6-for-19 with one RBI in the World Series. At the age of 32, Gurriel began his Major League career with the Houston Astros after a successful career in Cuba, Japan, and international baseball. Gurriel has two World Series rings, one in 2017 and one in 2022.