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Aroldis says report of his opting out is false

@BryanHoch
July 17, 2019

NEW YORK -- Aroldis Chapman smirked as a group of reporters approached his Yankee Stadium locker Wednesday afternoon, having been briefed about the latest whispers concerning the looming opt-out clause in his contract. As he did at the All-Star Game, the closer said that no decisions about his future have

NEW YORK -- Aroldis Chapman smirked as a group of reporters approached his Yankee Stadium locker Wednesday afternoon, having been briefed about the latest whispers concerning the looming opt-out clause in his contract. As he did at the All-Star Game, the closer said that no decisions about his future have been made.

The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal reported Wednesday that a player close to Chapman said there is a "one million percent" chance that Chapman will opt out after 2019. Following this season, Chapman will have two years and approximately $34.4 million remaining on the five-year, $86 million pact he signed prior to the 2017 season.

"The report is completely false," Chapman said through an interpreter. "I haven't even spoken to my agent about it. Like I said before, we have a big task in front of us, which is to win the division and win the World Series. That's the main focus for me right now. Contract stuff hasn't even crossed my mind at all."

The 31-year-old Chapman has converted 25 of 29 save opportunities this season, compiling a 2.45 ERA in 39 appearances and earning selection to the American League All-Star team. Chapman said that he will talk to his agent about his contract after the season.

"But the truth is, honestly, I feel really good here," Chapman said. "There's no reason for me to start thinking about changes or anything like that. I feel great here. Eventually, when the season is over, I'll sit down and talk about it. No need right now."

Chapman's contract includes a full no-trade clause through 2019, but he only holds limited no-trade protection for '20 and '21 if he does not opt out, which could be a factor. Chapman's deal does not permit him to be traded to the Mariners or a club based in California.

"God willing, I want to stay here, for sure," Chapman said. "But at the same time, from what I understand, after next year, my contract changes a little bit and the Yankees have the ability to trade me. It's one of those things that is kind of out of my control, but yeah, God willing I'd want to finish it here."

Comeback trail

Dellin Betances and Luis Severino (right lat strains) tossed again on the field at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday, making 25 throws at a distance of 60 feet. The duo of rehabbing right-handers is scheduled to do so again on Thursday. Manager Aaron Boone said that they are both at least two weeks away from throwing from a mound, assuming all continues to go well.

Cameron Maybin (left calf strain) is scheduled to resume running the bases later this week, and Boone said that the outfielder could be cleared to begin a Minor League rehab assignment near the beginning of the Yankees' upcoming road trip to Minneapolis and Boston.

Giancarlo Stanton (right knee sprain) is with the Yankees in New York, where he is receiving treatment and working out in the weight room. Stanton has not resumed baseball activities.

Injury report

Right-hander Ben Heller, who is recovering from Tommy John surgery, has been pulled back from his Minor League rehab assignment with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre due to an issue with his right elbow or forearm. Heller is returning to New York to be evaluated by the Yankees' medical staff.

This date in Yankees history

July 17, 1941: Joe DiMaggio went 0-for-3 with a walk in the Yankees' 4-3 victory over the Indians in Cleveland, ending his Major League-record hitting streak after 56 games. DiMaggio batted .408 (91-for-223) with 15 homers, 55 RBIs and 56 runs scored during the streak, which started on May 15.

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and Facebook.