3 Yankees extension candidates not named Aaron Judge

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – APRIL 26: Aroldis Chapman #54 of the New York Yankees in action against the Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium on April 26, 2022 in New York City. New York Yankees defeated the Baltimore Orioles 12-8. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

With Aaron Judge being by far the most obvious extension candidate in the Yankees clubhouse, we take a look at three other names that would make sense.

While superstar right fielder Aaron Judge is by far the most logical extension candidate the New York Yankees have to offer, club and player could not reach an agreement before Opening Day, so contract talks have been put on pause. With that in mind, we wanted to take a deeper look at some of the other players on the Bronx Bombers’ roster that could be locked up to long-term deals.

The Yankees currently are in first place in the AL East and look to be the favorites in the division. If the club can continue its dominance, it could look to lock up one or more players on expiring contracts mid-season or at season’s end.

With multiple star-caliber players on the current roster already locked up – including DJ Lemahieu, Giancarlo Stanton and Gerrit Cole – and a failed extension negotiation with outfielder Aaron Judge, there are a number of other contracts that are up at the conclusion of the 2022 season.

Let’s take a look at three Yankees extension candidates

3. Aroldis Chapman

34-year old flamethrower Aroldis Chapman has been a part of the Yankees organization since the 2016 when he was acquired by the Bombers from the Cincinnati Reds, ending a highly successful six-year run with the Reds.

It’s worth mentioning that this is technically Chapman’s second tenure in pinstripes. He was flipped to the Chicago Cubs in 2016 (where he was eventually a part of their World Series-winning efforts) in exchange for a package highlighted by current Yankee Gleyber Torres.

Chapman became a free agent at season’s end and ultimately found his way back to New York, this time on a five-year, $86MM contract – the largest contract ever given to a relief pitcher.

In his Yankees career, Chapman has not quite been the impossibly dominant pitcher he was when he was breaking into the league with the Reds, but he’s been really, really good for them.

In parts of seven seasons at the back end of the Yankees bullpen, Chapman has appeared in 283 games, earning 150 saves while sporting a sparkling 14.2 SO/9 across his 267+ innings for the club.

His home runs-allowed have ever-so-slightly raised gradually over the years but the southpaw is still regularly hitting triple-digits with his wipeout fastball and is still very much in the conversation of the best closer in the game.

As Aroldis Chapman’s contract comes to an end at the conclusion of the 2022 campaign, it would make a ton of sense for the Yankees to bring him back on another deal, one that could potentially last him until the end of his career. Since breaking into the majors back in 2010, Chapman has been one of — if not the — best closer in the game. The Yankees would be foolish to let him walk after such a long stretch of dominance.

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