The Deal: The New York Yankees have traded for Aroldis Chapman. If the Yankees stand pat in their bullpen, they will have a dynamic trio to finish games by combining Chapman with Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller. Chapman comes with baggage, as MLB is investigating domestic abuse allegations that could lead to a suspension.
The Reason: Chapman's price tag was lowered because of his off-the-field issues. After his trade to the Los Angeles Dodgers fell through, the Reds' asking price dropped significantly. Brian Cashman, who has tried to trade for Chapman before, got his man in a Cyber Monday-type bargain.
There is risk for the Yankees. It is unknown if Chapman will be a Yankee on Opening Day, because MLB could suspend him amid allegations of domestic violence.
Since MLB has just constructed its policy for domestic abuse, it is unclear if, or how long, Chapman might be suspended. It is doubtful the Yankees made this trade without some assurances that Chapman will be a Yankee for much of the 2016 season.
Chapman is 27 and can become a free agent after this season. He is likely to make around $13 million in 2016, pending arbitration.
The Yankees gave up some good prospects, but not their best. Rookie Davis is a 22-year-old righty who had a near 4.00 ERA between Class A Tampa and Double-A Trenton on 2015, but he's someone skipper Joe Girardi seemed to be high on. Eric Jagielo is a 23-year-old third baseman who was a first-rounder in 2013. He has been OK in the minors, making the Eastern League All-Star Game last season, hitting .284 with nine homers and 35 RBIs in 58 games at Trenton. Righty Caleb Cotham was a Girardi favorite at one point in 2015. Cotham had a 6.52 ERA in 12 appearances with the Yankees last season. Tony Renda, 24, was a .269 hitter at Double-A in 2015 between stints at Trenton and the Washington Nationals' Harrisburg farm team.
The Impact: The Yankees simply got one of the best and most intimidating relievers in the game. Chapman has been an NL All-Star each of the past four seasons. He had 33 saves and a 1.63 ERA last season. His nearly 16 strikeouts per nine innings led all relievers in baseball. He had 116 total K's, which were second only to Betances' 131.
Cashman said the Yankees' intention is to keep Miller, Betances and Chapman for 2016. Cashman is not ready to declare a closer yet. All three have pitched in different roles and whatever inning they throw, they should be a dominant trio. Cashman also has the option of eventually trading Miller, clearing money (Miller is owed $27 million over the next three years) and perhaps adding a starter. For now, though, on the field, the Yankees are much better for 2016 with an overwhelming pen. They do have risk, bringing in Chapman considering his domestic violence situation.
On the field, this trade is a no-brainer, considering the discount bin price. Off the field, it remains to be seen.