The Cincinnati Reds agreed on a one-year, $5 million contract for closing pitcher Aroldis Chapman on Jan. 28.
Mark Sheldon of the Reds’ official website notes the agreement between the two parties prevented arbitration on the part of Chapman and that the amount was the midpoint each wanted to bargain for.
“The Reds and closer Aroldis Chapman have avoided arbitration with a one-year, $5 million contract.
“The dollar figure is the midpoint between the two sides. Chapman, 25, filed for $5.4 million, while the club offered $4.6 million. There has been no announcement about a signing yet from the Reds.
“Although Chapman signed a six-year, $30.25 million Major League contract with the Reds in January 2010, a stipulation in the deal still enabled him to enter the arena of arbitration for the first time this year. He will earn a raise from the $2 million he earned last season.
“Under the terms of the contract he received after defecting from Cuba, which included a $16.25 million signing bonus, Chapman could convert the $3 million he was owed for 2014 into a bonus if he was eligible for arbitration.”
With a contract already in place for Chapman, starting pitcher Homer Bailey is the only arbitration-eligible player in the Cincinnati lineup, per C. Trent Rosencrans of The Cincinnati Enquirer. Although Bailey is set to become a free agent after the 2014 MLB season, Rosencrans notes Reds general manager and president of baseball operations Walt Jocketty is looking at signing him on a long-term deal.
However, Joe Kay of The Associated Press reports on Jan. 28 that Bailey and the Reds were “far apart” in the negotiation process. Bailey is seeking $11.6 million while the club can offer only $8.7 million. No compromise between the two parties will result in arbitration.
For his part, Chapman will now bring his blazing fastball back to the Great American Ball Park mound, where he had an ERA of 0.66 and went 20 for 20 in save chances in 40 appearances, according to Sheldon.
Last season, the Cuban defector posted a 4-5 win-loss record with a 2.54 ERA in 68 outings.