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Aroldis Chapman and the Royals agree to deal

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The Royals agreed to a one-year deal with a powerful savior Aroldis Chapmansources told MLB.com on Thursday. The club did not confirm the deal, which is awaiting a financial procedure that is supposed to take place in the coming days.

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Mark Vinsand of MLB.com reported that the deal is expected to be worth $3.75 million with performance bonuses. Kansas City would count on a conversion from Chapman, who was known for his consistent triple-digit speed earlier in his career.

But the 2022 season was miserable for the seven-time All-Star team. Chapman, who will turn 35 on Opening Day, posted some of the worst stats of his 13-year career, and was seen with multiple stints on the injured list as well as questions regarding his desire to be a collegiate player.

Although Chapman started the year with 12 scoreless appearances, this was followed by a period in May when he allowed at least one run in six straight games. Chapman was placed on IL for 15 days with left Achilles tendinitis on May 24 and missed the next six weeks, effectively losing his role as Yanks closer to 2022 All-Star Clay Holmes.

Chapman made another trip to IL in August due to a leg injury caused by a tattoo.

He returned from that three-week absence to finish the regular season on a high note, but was held off the team’s ALDS roster yet Missing a mandatory team exercise without an acceptable excuse.

Chapman also comes with history off the field. He was suspended 30 games in 2016 under Major League Baseball’s Common Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, and Child Abuse Policy after he choked his girlfriend of 22 at the time and fired eight shots in the garage of his Florida home. No charges were filed, and he has pitched for the Yankees and Cubs ever since.

Chapman’s four-seam fastball average speed dropped to 97.5 mph over the past season, and that contributed to his worst marks in strikeout rate (26.9%) and strikeout swing rate (12.7%). His 17.5% walk rate was the second-highest in his career, while his 4.46 ERA was almost the worst in terms of runs.

Chapman finished the season with nine saves, his fewest during an entire season since 2011. His 315 catches rank 24th in AL/NL history and is third among active shooters, trailing only Kenley Jansen and Craig Kimbrel.

Chapman continues to interest a few clubs around the league, including the Royals, Padres, and Marlins. Kansas City has targeted the bullpen for help this season after the unit ranked fourth-worst in the ERA (4.66) last season and last in the WHIP (1.48).

The Royals have signed lower-risk relievers to Minor League deals, such as Nick Wittgren, but Chapman is the first major bullpen acquisition this winter. He will head to Kansas City as a veteran bullpen in a relatively young bullpen. Scott Barlow will return as the Royals’ closer, but the rest of the innings, from middle relief to left arms, are wide open before spring training.

Chapman is also giving the Royals a potential mid-season trade candidate if he returns to form.

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