Trading Chapman the right baseball move for Yankees
It’s hard to imagine the New York Yankees going through turmoil, producing a winning record every year since 1993. That’s a great stretch which any sports franchise would love to have, but for them, just having a winning season is not the goal they set for themselves. Winning championships is, and although they currently sit with a record of 50-48 after taking 3-out-of-4 at the stadium from the NL West-leading San Francisco Giants, they decided to trade the “C” of their “No Run DMC” bullpen in closer Aroldis Chapman, the hard-throwing lefthander who has been clocked at a ridiculous 105 MPH this season.
He goes to the Cubs who believe he is the missing piece to finishing off a 108-year championship drought. The Yankees will receive four players, including one later on. The prize of the lot was shortstop Gleyber Torres, the top prospect in the Cubs system, outfielder Billy McKinney, and Adam Warren, a spot starter and long reliever who was on the Yankee roster last season and was traded straight up for current second baseman Starlin Castro before the beginning of this season.
Many Yankee fans wanted the team to make moves for a quick improvement just as its American League East rival Toronto did by acquiring ace David Price and All-Star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki. The Blue Jays made the trade only two games over .500, just as the Yankees stand now, and as a result won 40 of its final 58 games and win their first division crown in 22 years. The difference between the Yankees and the Blue Jays is that it possessed a good, but not great pitching staff, and adding an ace would be the missing link. They also another bat for its team to protect the likes of Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion in an already potent offense.
Last year’s Yankees team had two players near the echelon of Bautista and Encarnacion in the resurgence Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira, but both have not only come down to Earth, they have fallen off the map. Add that to the inconsistency of the Yankees starting staff, and what you come up with is just a mediocre team.
In fact, only two players have been consistent all season in Carlos Beltran (21 HR, 62 RBI, .305 AVG) and Did Gregorius (11 HR, 42 RBI, .297 AVG). Besides those two, the offense has been insufficient with a team batting average of .249, which is second-to-last in the American League. They are also last in the league in situational at-bats, hitting a league-low .219 with runners in scoring position and .205 with runners in scoring position and two outs. For now, the Chapman move makes sense. The Yankees did trade away one its strong parts of its team, but he was a luxury. An arm, especially one that he possesses, would come in handy in the postseason, but the Yankees sit fourth in the division and two other teams ahead of them in the wild card.
Still, Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller did a fine job last year in the set-up and closer role. Getting Warren back may even help. He didn’t do well in his short time with the Cubs, but he was a key contributor in pitching two or three innings of relief or being a spot starter last season. He may actually be the piece missing piece to keep a lead to the now “dynamic duo”, an issue the Yankees have had trouble with all season.
With the Yankees trading Chapman a week before the trade deadline, it allows them to see if they can string some wins together to see a postseason run is possible. If there is no improvement, they should consider trading more of its players to get more young talent. For now, the team has five top-75 minor league prospects in Torres (#24), shortstop Jorge Mateo (#26), outfielder Aaron Judge (#27), catcher Gary Sanchez (#50), and McKinney (#75). The players can be developed as the future of the New York Yankees or trade bait for a couple top-flight major league players who can change the fortunes of the team in the next year or two. Time will tell if they will have more on this list.