ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) – Closer Aroldis Chapman and the Cincinnati Reds agreed to an $8.05 million, one-year contract, just before the scheduled start of their salary arbitration hearing.
The right-hander, who turns 27 on Feb. 28, was 0-3 with a 2.00 ERA and 36 saves in 38 chances last year in his fifth season with the Reds. He struck out 106 in 54 innings and led the majors with an average of 17.67 strikeouts per nine innings. According to fangraphs.com, he was first in average fastball speed at 100.2 mph.
Chapman earned $5,025,000 last year. When the sides exchanged proposed arbitration salaries last month, he had asked for $8.7 million and had been offered $6.65 million.
Chapman can earn award bonuses under Friday’s deal. He is eligible for free agency after the 2016 season.