The New York Yankees have acquired closer Aroldis Chapman from the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for four prospects.
Incumbent Yankee closer Andrew Miller will presumably become the eighth inning setup man if and when Chapman can take the mound in the 2016 season. The Yankees also have power reliever Dellin Betances in the bullpen.
“[Chapman] is currently under investigation by MLB for his role in an alleged domestic violence incident. Several reporters note that the Yankees anticipate a suspension for Chapman,” Sports Illustrated explained.
Chapman originally was headed to the Los Angeles Dodgers before that trade fell through.
“Chapman’s price tag was lowered because of his off-the-field issues… [Yankees GM] Brian Cashman, who has tried to trade for Chapman before, got his man in a Cyber Monday-type bargain,” ESPN claimed about the transaction in which the flamethrower will move from the National to the American League.
The rebuilding-minded Reds have also tried to unsuccessfully trade second baseman Brandon Phillips who apparently vetoed a trade to the Washington Nationals. Cincinnati was able to move Todd Frazier to the Chicago White Sox, getting three prospects in return.
In exchange for the 100-mph throwing lefty, the Yankees parted ways with minor leaguers Caleb Cotham, Rookie (that’s his first name) Davis, Eric Jagielo, and Tony Renda. The latter two players are infielders, while Coltham and Davis are pitchers.
Recording 33 saves with a 1.63 ERA in 2015 Chapman, 27, becomes a free agent after this season (unless a suspension occurs, which would postpone his free agency eligibility) when his $30 million contract ends, so he may or may not be one and done in the Bronx.
As usual, Chapman’s remarkable velocity — which registered as a league leading 99.5 mph, per FanGraphs — enabled him to strike out 116 batters (15.7 K/9). His performance in 2015 was also recognized with his fourth consecutive All-Star team selection, The Inquisitr previously detailed.
The Yankees now have the 3 RPs who struck out 100+ batters last season. We take a look at what Chapman brings to NY. https://t.co/TJy6XtFeJP— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) December 28, 2015
“A native of Cuba, Chapman signed a six-year, $30.25 million contract with Cincinnati in January 2010. In his career, Chapman has recorded 146 saves with a 2.17 ERA and 546 strikeouts,” SI added.
In the alleged domestic violence incident that is currently subject to an MLB investigation, the closer supposedly firing eight gunshots in his garage after choking his girlfriend, according to her, Yahoo Sports reported earlier this month about the late October incident. Miami-area cops didn’t arrest anyone in the incident, however. Chapman’s lawyer has denied the allegations. In November, a local prosecutor announced that there was insufficient evidence to charge Chapman with simple battery.
In a conference call about the Aroldis Chapman trade, Cashman explained that “To the best of our abilities, we have researched as much as we can. We’re not a law enforcement agency…We have completed the transaction based on a lot of due diligence, so we know there’s a process that’s playing out. It will continue to play out and the results will be whatever they will be,” the New York Post reported.
Cashman added that the team currently intends to retain all three “high-caliber arms,” but didn’t completely close the door on trading Miller. The GM was also noncommital as to who would take over the closer role, but presumably Chapman will be the man if he is cleared to play. The New York Yankees owe Miller $27 million for the remaining three years on his contract.
“The Yankees now possess the pitchers with the three highest strikeout percentages in all of baseball from 2014-15 in Chapman (46.3 percent), Miller (41.6 percent) and Betances (39.5 percent),” MLB Trade Rumors noted.
[Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images]