The New York Yankees added reliever Aroldis Chapman in a trade with the Cincinnati Reds in December and his addition could give the team the best bullpen in all of baseball next season.
The Yankees made the deal with the Reds without giving up any major prospects and the team has not yet made a move to trade Andrew Miller, who reportedly has been available in deals this offseason. Keeping Miller with Dellin Betances and Chapman could give the Yankees a dominant bullpen and could help the team make up for a weak starting rotation.
Chapman is dealing with a domestic violence issue off the field and that is one reason why the Yankees were able to make the deal without giving up any high-end prospects. The Reds nearly traded Chapman to the Dodgers before the deal fell apart and the team was in a tough situation with the investigation going on. The Reds were clearly a bit desperate to move Chapman, as he is heading towards free agency and his value was lowered a bit with the failed Dodgers deal.
Here are 5 Things about the Chapman deal:
The Yankees did not give up much for Chapman
The Yankees took advantage of the situation with Chapman and the Reds, as the team watched as a deal with the Dodgers fell apart over issues surrounding the closer and a domestic violence issue. That issue along with the fact that Chapman will be a free agent after this season lowered the value for the closer. The Yankees traded pitchers Caleb Cotham and Rookie Davis along with infielders Eric Jagielo and Tony Renda, none of whom were ranked in the top 30 among prospects for the team.
Andrew Miller remains in the bullpen (for now)
While Brian Cashman could still trade Andrew Miller, the Yankees appear to be content keeping Miller along with Chapman and Dellin Betances in the bullpen. There were reports earlier in the offseason that Miller was available in trades, but the Yankees have yet to find a deal they feel is suitable. For now Miller remains in the bullpen with the Yankees.
The Yankees bullpen should be the best in baseball
Chapman was one of the top closers in the league last season, while Miller and Betances were two of the best relievers in all of baseball. The combination of the three (no matter what innings they end up pitching) should give the Yankees the chance to have the best bullpen in baseball. According to ESPN Stats and Info, the top three "swing and miss" relievers in the MLB last season were Chapman, Miller and Betances. The three combined for a 1.70 ERA and over 340 total strikeouts in 2015.
Chapman could face a suspension for a domestic violence incident
Chapman is dealing with an off the field issue and he could be suspended depending on the outcome of the investigation. According to ESPN New York, the Yankees were aware of the situation, which allegedly had Chapman choke his girlfriend and also fire a gun in his home in Davie, Florida. Jon Heyman at CBS Sports reports that if Chapman is going to be suspended, "the ban isn't expected to last long." Check here for more.
Who will be the closer?
This is one of the most interesting aspects of the deal, as Chapman, Miller and Betances all have the ability to close out games. Miller was excellent last season, but after dealing for Chapman the Yankees could bump Miller to the eighth inning role. The team will have the flexibility to use all three players as the closer and Joe Girardi could mix and match depending on recent usage and matchup situations.