The Chicago White Sox play in a division loaded with great closers. Aroldis Chapman is headed to the Kansas City Royals after signing with them for 3.75 million dollars. He is one of the remaining big-name free-agent relievers that was to be considered by MLB teams.
Obviously, Chapman has played in Chicago before but on the other side of town. The Chicago Cubs acquired him ahead of winning the World Series in 2016. In addition to that accomplishment, Chapman has been an All-Star multiple times.
Before playing with the Cubs in 2016, he spent time with the Cincinnati Reds and New York Yankees. Then, after his short stint with the Cubs, he went back to the Yankees where there was a lot of regular-season success but nothing to show for it in the postseason.
Toward the end of his Yankees career, he wasn't even being used as a closer which is a little strange to think about. He was more of a setup man but now he will likely get the chance to close again with the Royals. No matter what his role is, the White Sox are going to be seeing him a lot more.
Aroldis Chapman is going to be a Chicago White Sox division rival in 2023.
He hasn't been as intimidating to them as he has some other teams in the league. The White Sox have gotten to him, especially recently so this isn't that big of a deal but it is certainly noticeable.
Even with this move, the Royals are still a long way away from being as good as the Chicago White Sox, Cleveland Guardians, or Minnesota Twins. You can even make an argument that the Detroit Tigers will be better but that remains to be seen.
If anything, it is just a stunt to bring more eyeballs to the Royals because Chapman has been a big-name player for a long time now. Hopefully, he doesn't regain his form too much when he is playing against the White Sox in 2023.
Seeing big-name players leave the Yankees is always strange but there is usually a reason behind it that ends up making New York look smart. Hopefully, that is the case here too. It likely will be.