The money is in starting
So Aroldis Chapman wants to be the Reds closer? My hypothesis is that his agents wished he might reconsider. Not that more money means more happiness, the big dollars are in starting pitching.
Here are some of the very large recent signings of starting pitchers:
RHP Felix Hernandez: 7 years, $175 million with Mariners (signed 2/13/13)
RHP Zack Greinke: 6 years, $147 million with Dodgers (signed 12/10/12)
RHP Matt Cain: 6 years, $127.5 million with Giants (signed April 2012)
LHP Cliff Lee: 5 years, $120 million with Phillies (signed in Dec. 2010)
LHP Cole Hamels: 6 years, $144 million with Phillies (signed July 2012)
LHP CC Sabathia: 5 years, $122 million with Yankees (signed Oct. 2011)
The biggest closer contract ever signed was last winter by Jonathan Papelbon with the Phillies. It was four years for $50 million.
I don’t think that Chapman voicing his opinion on wanting to close will change the dynamics too much. It’s going to come down to what the organization feels is best for the Reds and Chapman in the long term.
My opinion on the matter hasn’t changed one iota. I still think Chapman should start. I think it’d be better for the club to have him work 150-200 innings rather than 70-75. I think there are too many situations where a closer isn’t needed to win. Starting pitching wins pennants and Chapman could be one of the best starters in baseball.