The Marlins were close to landing All-Star closer Aroldis Chapman, in fact they even offered him more money than the team he signed with, the New York Yankees. Miami offered him $87 million, while the Yankees gave him $86 million to come back to New York.
Miami offered Chapman a back loaded contract that didn’t include a no-trade clause. According to Chapman, Miami’s reputation for shaking things up deterred him from signing with Miami.
"The Marlins were close on signing me, but at the end my wish was to come back to the Yankees," he said through a translator during a conference call. "I also wanted to be part of a young team, like the Yankees have now, and not go to the Marlins, because as you all know from time to time they change their team a lot, and I wanted to have a stable team of young players where I could feel at home."
In terms of youth, Miami was definitely younger than the Yankees were for most of the season last year. New York got younger when they traded some of their veterans. Some of their older players also retired, which means New York is a much younger team then they were a year ago.
His decision to return to the Bronx also seems to be a way to thank the Yankees for their support during his suspension for violating baseball’s domestic violence policy. Chapman was suspended 29 games in 2016, but Chapman says New York still supported him. “I was coming to this team with a problem, and the way they treated me, the way they welcomed me, the way that they helped me, starting from the manager, the staff, my teammates, they made me feel at home," Chapman said. "That kind of support, it's something that you need in a moment like that."