Hitting free agency in the offseason wouldn't preclude New York Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman from returning to the Big Apple.
The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal spoke to a source on July 17 who said Chapman will "one million percent" opt out of his five-year, $86 million deal. However, MLB Network's Jon Heyman reported Friday the six-time All-Star prefers signing a long-term extension with the Yankees.
Clayton Kershaw did something similar with the Los Angeles Dodgers this past offseason. Although he didn't formally opt out and become a free agent, he basically voided his existing contract and re-signed with L.A. for three years and $93 million.
CC Sabathia signed a five-year, $122 million deal with the Yankees in 2011, which ultimately meant getting one more guaranteed season from New York, when he was approaching the deadline to opt out from his contract.