Giants closer Will Smith always was going to have no shortage of suitors headed into free agency this winter. That MLB-wide interest might even pick up now.
The New York Yankees reportedly agreed to a contract extension with closer Aroldis Chapman on Saturday night, sources told ESPN's Jeff Passan. Chapman, who could have opted out of his contract Sunday, will remain with the Yankees through the end of 2022 and make $18 million that season after making $30 million over each of the next two seasons, according to Passan.
With Chapman remaining in pinstripes, that likely leaves Smith as the best reliever on the market.
Chapman staying with the Yankees is good news for Will Smith, who is now unquestionably the top closer on the free-agent market.— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) November 3, 2019
With Aroldis Chapman staying in New York, the already-thin relief market this winter gets even more shallow. The top relievers now:— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) November 3, 2019
- Will Smith
- Will Harris
- Daniel Hudson
- Dellin Betances
- Drew Pomeranz
- Chris Martin
- Joe Smith
- Steve Cishek
- Brandon Kintzler
Smith, 30, posted a career-high 34 saves in 65 1/3 innings of work in 2019. His 2.76 ERA was the second-lowest of his career, as was his 1.03 WHIP. Smith also was an All-Star for the first time in his career.
NBC Sports Bay Area's Alex Pavlovic wrote last week that the Giants are considering issuing Smith a $17.8 million qualifying offer. That would take Smith just under Chapman's reported 2022 salary, but the reliever might prefer the security of a long-term contract rather than the one-year qualifying offer.
The Giants have until Monday to issue a qualifying offer to Smith. If they do, Chapman's reported extension will give Smith a lot more to think about.