Let’s talk closers.

Coming into this offseason, it was always clear that this particular free-agent market was going to be headlined by a strong closing class, and players like Aroldis Chapman and Kenley Jansen have been at the center of much of the buzz thus far.

Once Mark Melancon signed with the San Francisco Giants on a four-year, $62 million deal, per Chris Haft of MLB.com, it was off to the races for the closers market.

Chapman and Jansen will certainly be the next big names to drop, but Kansas City Royals closer Wade Davis is also generating a ton of buzz on the trade market. So, which teams are in the mix for the trio?

Well, the New York Yankees are at the epicenter of the Chapman-Jansen universe. General manager Brian Cashman confirmed as much to Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News:

Offers have been put out there. (Chapman agent) Barry Praver and (Jansen agent) Adam Katz are the people you’d have to ask about whether it’s progress or not. We’re still having the dialogue, but whether it leads us to a positive resolution from our perspective or not remains to be seen. They’re still active with a whole bunch of people.

Cashman seemed to indicate that Chapman would be the team’s preference as well since it wouldn’t have to give up a draft pick to sign him, unlike Jansen:

The preference, yes, would be to retain our draft pick if possible. We know that Chapman pitched in New York. I don’t believe that Jansen would have any issues pitching in New York either, but it’s nice to have that box checked, too. They’re both exceptionally talented individuals and they’re both going to be well-rewarded for that talent regardless of where they decide to play. It would be nice if somebody picks us at some point. If not, we’ll adjust.

One interesting wrinkle? Chapman told ESPN’s Marly Rivera that he wants a six-year deal, according to Andrew Marchand of ESPN.com, though Marchand doubts the Yankees would offer that length of contract.

Certainly, the money will be on the table, as Jon Heyman of Today’s Knuckleball reported:

But for the moment, it appears that the Yankees and Chapman are likely to be reunited.

That leaves a whole slew of teams in the running for Jansen. According to Jim Bowden of ESPN.com, the Washington Nationals, Miami Marlins, Yankees, Chicago Cubs and Los Angeles Dodgers are interested in the free agent.

A return to the Dodgers is always a possibility, as the team remains heavily involved in the closer talks, per Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times:

But don’t count out the Marlins, per Heyman:

And don’t count out Davis either.

He’s one of many players who almost assuredly will find themselves traded once Chapman and Jansen are signed, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports:

Heyman added:

The closers market is one move away from exploding. It’s rare that the pitchers who generally appear for only an inning garner more interest and intrigue than starting pitchers or sluggers, but the game is changing. Bullpens are valued more highly than ever, and the rest of free agency simply doesn’t have the same star power that the closers have presented.

The closers are getting paid this winter. And given how important players like Chapman and Jansen were to the Cubs and Dodgers last year, they’ve earned it.


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