Aroldis Chapman Officially Named Yankees Closer


HBTEnding speculation about the three-headed monster in the back-end of his bullpen, Yankees manager Joe Girardi confirmed during an appearance on YES Network tonight that the recently-acquired Aroldis Chapman will go into spring training as the team’s closer.

It’s not exactly an unexpected decision given Chapman’s history in the role, but this means that Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances will pitch in a set-up capacity in 2016. Miller was the primary closer for New York last season, posting a 2.04 ERA over 60 appearances while going 36-for-38 in save opportunities.

While Chapman is Girardi’s projected closer at the moment, his status for the start of the season remains in question. MLB is currently investigating him for a domestic violence incident from October and could levy a suspension.


Most people saw this coming but it’s good for Girardi to get out in front of this and let the world know that there is no competition for the closer role. There is definitely a case to be made for Miller to stay the closer, just like there was a case for Betances to be the closer last year, but this is the best move for the team. Chapman is a weird dude who likes to drive fast, hit women and close games but he can’t keep doing the first two so lets let him keep the third.

On top of the fact that I could see Chapman being a real problem if he is removed from the closer role, Miller is a team player who has no problem with this change. Right when the move was made to get Chapman, Cashman called Miller to let him know and Miller’s response was that whatever is best for the team he’s behind. Miller is still going to get paid and will still be under contract in 2017 so his focus is a ring, which Chapman will play a big role in.

My only concern is that Miller won’t get the same entrance music and video that he had last year because it was the most electric trip from the bullpen in baseball since Mariano retired.