Reds Avoid Arbitration With Aroldis Chapman

The Reds have avoided arbitration with All-Star closer Aroldis Chapman by agreeing to a one-year, $5MM contract, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post (on Twitter).

Chapman, a client of Hendricks Sports, agreed to a deal that is valued at the midpoint of the respective $5.4MM and $4.6MM figures that he and the Reds submitted. The flamethrowing left-hander agreed to a six-year, $30.25MM contract with the Reds back in January 2010, but that contract was unique in its structure. Chapman was paid a $16.25MM signing bonus with guaranteed salaries of $1MM (2010-11), $2MM (2012-13) and $3MM (2014) with a $5MM player option.

However, Chapman's contract contains a clause stating that were he to become arbitration eligible prior to the 2014 season, the $3MM guarantee would be converted to a signing bonus in order for him to head to arbitration. That proved to be the case, as the Cuban hurler has accumulated three years, 34 days of Major League service time.

Following the completion of the 2014 World Series, Chapman will have five days to decide whether or not to exercise his $5MM player option. Given his $5MM salary in 2014, he's a lock to decline that option and seek a significant raise in his second time through arbitration.

Chapman, who turns 26 a month from today, has cemented himself among the ranks of elite closers over the course of the past two seasons. Averaging 98 mph on his fastball and 15.6 strikeouts per nine innings in that time, Chapman has made a pair of All-Star teams and totaled 76 saves while holding opponents to a combined .152/.246/.249 batting line.

As shown in MLBTR's Arbitration Tracker, Chapman and Homer Bailey were the only two Reds players to exchange figures with the team, and Bailey is now the only unresolved case on GM Walt Jocketty's plate.


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