Monday, December 28, 2015

Yankees Acquire Aroldis Chapman

In a shocker Monday afternoon, the New York Yankees acquired Cincinnati Reds' closer Aroldis Chapman for four prospects. Chapman was close to becoming a Los Angeles Dodger until the Cuban born reliever was accused of physical abuse by his girlfriend. In addition to reportedly choking his significant other and pushing her into a wall, Chapman also fired eight shots in the garage of his Miami-based home. Though police were called, no arrest was made.

The Yankees agreed to send third baseman Eric Jagielo (26th overall pick out of Notre Dame in the 2013 draft), second baseman Tony Renda, and right-handed pitchers Caleb Coltham and Rookie Davis to Cincinatti. Coltham appeared in 12 games for the Yankees this past season.

Chapman is in his third year of arbitration eligibility and can become a free agent for the 2017 season. The four-time All-Star has averaged better than 15 Ks per nine innings over the last four seasons, with a  high of 17.7/9 IP in 2014. His fastball has been clocked as high as 105 mph. Chapman has averaged 36 saves per season over that same stretch.

The move could mean that the Yankees current closer, Andrew Miller, could be used as trade bait. The fellow left-hander signed a four-year, $36MM contract prior to the 2015 season. Miller recorded 36 saves and rang up 100 strikeouts in 61.2 innings.

With Dellin Betances, the Yankees could have a three-headed monster out of the pen and insurance in case Chapman leaves as a free agent. In all likelihood though, Miller will be given his traveling papers in exchange for starting pitching or a solid bat.