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Thursday, December 8, 2016

FANTASY BASEBALL WINTER MEETINGS SIGNINGS: AROLDIS CHAPMAN RETURNS TO YANKEES, DELLIN BETANCES NEUTERED

With the New York Yankees having first dealt Aroldis Chapman and then Andrew Miller leading up to the Aug. 1 trade deadline last season, fireballer Dellin Betances finally got the chance to close games late in the 2016 season.  Already having been selected for his third straight All-Star Game as Betances once again performed like one of the most dominant relievers in the game, his performance in the closer role was somewhat of a mixed bag.  While he dominated in August (0.68 ERA), Sept./Oct. was another story altogether.  Looking like he was on fumes, Betances registered a frightening 9.64 ERA in his last 9.1 innings; a performance that might have shaken the Yankees’ confidence in him moving forward as the closer.  That extended wobble no doubt played a role in the Yankees bringing back Chapman over the winter with a contract of five years and $86 million to close games for them again.  In Chapman the Yankees once again possess the number 1 closer in the game by a mile and a guy who already has shown he can finish games in the pressure-cooker of New York and Chicago.  Chapman is still young (he will be just 29 when the 2017 season gets underway) and his nuclear fastball remains the most potent pitch in baseball.  The 1.55 ERA and 13.87 K/9 Chapman posted in 2016 was standard operating procedure and his BB/9 of 2.79 was a personal best by a decent amount.  The price is always steep when it comes to drafting the guy but dominance is almost guaranteed.  

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