Free agent left-hander Aroldis Chapman is seeking a six-year contract, he tells ESPN’s Marly Rivera. In speaking with Rivera, the flamethrowing southpaw also dispelled any notion that he has ever demanded a $100MM figure when speaking to another club. Said Chapman:
“The only thing I have expressed is that I would like a six-year contract. I know that doesn’t mean that I will get it, but that’s what I would like to sign. There are rumors out there that I requested $100 million and that’s not true at all. I believe he who deserves something, does not need to demand it.”
Earlier today, right-hander Mark Melancon shattered Jonathan Papelbon’s previous record reliever contract ($50MM) when he reportedly agreed to a four-year, $62MM deal with the Giants. Chapman and fellow free agent Kenley Jansen are both widely expected to clear the Melancon figure by an even larger margin than Melancon cleared Papelbon, however. A six-year deal for Chapman doesn’t necessarily seem likely, but given widespread expectations that he’ll land a five-year deal, the possibility of a team going to six years is present. If Chapman does get to six years, one would have to imagine that he’ll top $100MM as well.
There are other factors to consider, though. One element that could impact the overall value of a deal would be an opt-out clause, and Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweets that some officials that have been involved in talks with both Chapman and Jansen believe they’ll seek such a provision in their deal. Opt-out clauses typically require some concession in terms of the overall value of a contract, so it’s possible that Chapman could pursue a deal that’ll allow him to re-enter the market after two or three years. And considering the fact that he’ll pitch all of next season at 29, he could seek such a clause and still hit the open market for a second time at a young enough age to cash in on an even larger commitment.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post and Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald have both written about Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria’s affinity for Chapman today, and the Yankees are also a team that has been oft-inked to Chapman. ESPN Chicago’s Jesse Rogers reported today that there’s been “no momentum” toward a long-term deal between the Cubs and Chapman, further suggesting that Chicago won’t make a significant play to re-sign Chapman after surrendering with a large amount of young talent to acquire him prior to the non-waiver trade deadline back in July.