Texas Rangers trade for Aroldis Chapman

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - JUNE 09: Aroldis Chapman #54 of the Kansas City Royals pitches during a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on June 9, 2023 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

The Texas Rangers have acquired relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman in a trade with the Kansas City Royals.

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The Rangers traded pitcher Cole Ragans and prospect Roni Cabrera to get Chapman, adding a once-dominant closer to their bullpen as the AL West leaders chase their first division title in seven years.

Chapman had two saves in 31 appearances for Kansas City, which is buried in last in the AL Central, more than 10 games behind the fourth-place Chicago White Sox.

This news comes a day after four Rangers were voted in as starters for the All-Star game.

READ MORE: 4 Texas Rangers chosen as All-Star starters

The Rangers have a top offense and starting pitching rotation, but have had issued with their bullpen.

They hope this trade will help them sure things up in the late innings.

The 35-year-old Chapman wasn't of much use to the last-place Royals, where the left-hander landed this season after a six-year stint with the New York Yankees. Just before that, he split 2016 between the Yankees and Cubs, helping Chicago win its first World Series championship in 108 years.

The Cuban reliever who routinely tops 100 mph has seen a slight uptick in velocity this season.

Chapman has averaged 101.65 mph on his sinker, up from 100.25 last year. His fastball average is 99.61 mph, up from a career-low 97.46 in 2022.

Chapman broke into the majors with Cincinnati in 2010 and pitched for the Reds through 2015. He is 24th on the career saves list with 317, but has just one season with 30 since 2020. He drifted in and out of the closer role late in his career with the Yankees.

The Associated Press contributed to this report