Tha Sports Junkies 101

The Aftermath of the Aroldis Chapman Trade

Chapman Zach Lucy/ Via Flickr


Why Both the Cubs and Yankees Won the Chapman Trade

If the Chicago Cubs weren’t already the favorites to win it all in 2016, they certainly are now.  On Monday morning, the Cubs finalized a deal with the New York Yankees that sends flamethrower Aroldis Chapman to Chicago.  The Yankees hauled in a nice package for their former closer, with the main acquisition headed to the Bronx being 19 year-old Venezuelan shortstop Gleyber Torres.  For the time being, both sides have improved their organizational talent pool in different ways.

Why the Cubs Won

Most fans of Major League Baseball do not follow prospects and their development, so to the casual fan, this is a slam dunk win for the Cubbies.  Chapman has posted tremendous numbers throughout his career.  He is a dynamic pitcher that has touched 105 MPH on the radar gun, a feat very few men have accomplished.  He is a true shutdown closer that essentially ends games before the 9th inning even begins.  The Cubs did give up some potential impact players for Chapman however, most notably Gleyber Torres.  When asked about the trade though, Cubs’ President Theo Epstein put it in simple terms.

Epstein couldn’t be more correct with the stance he and his organization are taking.  The Cubs gave up a lot, but they now have a dominant closer that can put them over the top.  Some people think that relief pitching is overrated, but take a look at some of the closers for World Series Championship teams over the past ten years.  Wade Davis, Brian Wilson, Mariano Rivera, Brad Lidge, Jonathan Papelbon, and Adam Wainwright were all shutdown 9th inning pitchers at the top of their game that ended up being a huge part of their respective championship-winning teams.  Chapman could very well join that list this October as a member of the Cubs.

Why the Yankees Won… For Now

Sorry Yankees’ fans, the 2016 Yankees are not going to contend.  And for the organization’s sake, they should not try to.  Considering how little the Yankees gave up to acquire Chapman from the Reds, Brian Cashman pulled off a heist of the Cubs’ farm system.  Gleyber Torres and Billy McKinney are both impact prospects that can come in and lead the Yankees back to prominence in a few years.  Torres was the big prize in the trade, and he has already been ranked as the organization’s top prospect ahead of fellow Yankees shortstop Jorge Mateo.  Adam Warren has some potential as a reliever or even as a back of the rotation starter.  Cashman described Rashad Crawford, the fourth player sent from Chicago to New York, as a “lottery ticket”.  Many people on Twitter are praising Cashman for his ability to flip Chapman for a big time haul, and since he essentially now acquired former Cubs’ shortstop Starlin Castro for nothing.

The Yankees have done a great job with this trade.  They have given their farm system more depth and another big-time prospect, and it only cost them two months of Chapman’s services.  However, Brian Cashman and owner Hal Steinbrenner have been adamant that the Yankees are not necessarily selling.  There is speculation that this move was a precursor to something much, much bigger.

Rumors are stirring that the Yankees are planning to make a run at one of the big names on the trade market, with Chris Sale jumping to the top of the list.  The White Sox have listened to offers on their ace, but they have looked for a “king’s ransom” for the 2016 all-star.  The Yankees now may have the prospects to get this deal done.  A package built around either Jorge Mateo or Gleyber Torres, Aaron Judge, Billy McKinney and a few other minor leaguers could be too much for the White Sox to pass up.  That would be a catastrophic mistake by the Yankees.  Sale may improve the team now, but ultimately it would not be enough to push the Yankees into the playoffs.  The American League East is stacked this year, with the Blue Jays, Orioles, and Red Sox all fighting it out for the division crown.  As good as Sale is, he would not be enough of a difference maker to send the Bronx Bombers back into the playoffs.  By trading all of those prospects, the Yankees would be depleting their farm system and therefore giving up the team’s promising future.