Royals Linked to Big-Name Free Agent Reliever

Tyler Maher
The Kansas City Royals are rumored to be in on a big-name free agent.
The Kansas City Royals are rumored to be in on a big-name free agent. / ASSOCIATED PRESS

The Kansas City Royals aren't typically known for signing big names in free agency, but that could be about to change.

According to MLB insider Mark Feinsand, the Royals are one of several teams interested in signing star reliever Aroldis Chapman.

Aroldis Chapman Royals Rumors

Chapman, 34, is looking to bounce back from a rough 2022 that saw him lose his closing role for the New York Yankees and post career worsts in numerous categories, including ERA (4.46), WHIP (1.43) and strikeout rate (26.9%). The hard-throwing lefty also appeared to quit on New York during the playoffs, missing a mandatory team practice and being left off of the postseason roster as the result.

Between his baggage and recent lackluster performance, Chapman has been largely ignored in free agency this winter, giving the Royals a rare opportunity to scoop up a seven-time All-Star. They're not the only team eyeing Chapman, however, as the Miami Marlins and San Diego Padres are also interested.

With Scott Barlow entrenched as Kansas City's closer, Chapman could have value for the Royals as a setup man if he's willing to accept a new role. He might also have more success in a low-key environment like Kansas City after playing under a microscope in New York for the past 6 1/2 seasons.

So while the Royals may not seem like an obvious destination for Chapman at first glance, they could turn out to be a pretty good fit for him.

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