Chapman sees echoes of Cubs' rise in NY

Closer: Yankees' roster recalls Chicago's mix of youth, veterans

Chapman sees echoes of Cubs' rise in NY

TAMPA, Fla. -- Aroldis Chapman was considered the final piece to the puzzle when he joined the Cubs in midseason, helping that franchise celebrate their first World Series title in 108 years. The Yankees' drought hasn't been nearly that long, but the flame-throwing lefty believes he isn't done winning yet.

Chapman stopped by George M. Steinbrenner Field on Saturday afternoon to set up his locker, his first visit to the complex since agreeing to a five-year, $86 million contract -- the richest deal ever signed by a reliever. After making 31 appearances in pinstripes before being traded last July, Chapman said that it's easy to see how bright the Yankees' future is.

"I've seen a lot of teams do this," Chapman said through an interpreter. "We just saw it happen with Chicago. It's something very impressive that they're following this youth movement. Houston is another team that you see them getting young guys. It's something good, and this is going to be a very good team."

Outlook: Chapman, RP, NYY

The Marlins also showed interest in Chapman, who lives near Miami, and he said that he was surprised at how aggressive they were in pursuing him. Chapman said that he told his agent that his priority was coming back to the Yankees, saying that he enjoyed his experience from Day 1.

"The first moment that I got here in Spring Training, the way that they treated me, the attention that I got," Chapman said. "The work ethic of this team, the clubhouse, the athletes that they have. Those things, all of them made me feel very comfortable. That for me was the most important thing, and I wanted to come back."

Chapman's season started a month late as he served a 30-game suspension for violation of Major League Baseball's domestic violence policy. He was 3-0 with 20 saves in 21 chances, a 2.01 ERA and 44 strikeouts before being traded to Chicago on July 25.

He said that there are similarities between where the Cubs just were and where the Yankees are now.

Chapman on Yankees homecoming

"Chicago started doing the same thing, bringing young players in the beginning, combined with veterans," Chapman said. "It worked for them, and it's a solid team. The Yankees are similar in that way. They're trying to bring in some youth, athletes that are very gifted.

"I think this is something that they can move on to accomplish because of the level of talent that they have. One of the things that can be key is the unity of the team. The Yankees can do that, too."

Though the dominant 'No Runs DMC' trio was broken up with Chapman's departure and Andrew Miller's trade to the Indians a few days later, Chapman believes the 2017 Yankees will have a formidable bullpen with Dellin Betances and Tyler Clippard setting up.

"It's going to be a good bullpen, an experienced bullpen," Chapman said. "I think we're going to be very good. Some young players may have a chance to contribute, so we would like to help them too. We want to have a solid bullpen, so we are willing, as veterans, to help the young kids."

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.