Tuesday, December 29, 2015


Welcome to the Yankees, Aroldis Chapman! As BYB announced yesterday - AROLDIS CHAPMAN'S HEADED TO THE BRONX – the Yankees pulled the trigger on a trade that sends pitchers Caleb Cotham and Rookie Davis, third baseman Eric Jagielo, and second baseman Tony Renda to Cincinnati in return for the man who led the National League in strikeouts for a reliever.

This trade is huge, giving the Yankees Chapman, Dellin Betances, and Andrew Miller as what is arguably the best back end of the bullpen in all of baseball. The best part of the trade is the Yankees did not give up any top-ranked “untouchable” rookies in the process.
Chapman has had a phenomenal 6-year career so far. Batters facing him over the course of his career are hitting .154, and in no single season have they hit above .200 against him. Last year, he led the majors in K/9 with 15.74. Going back over the last 3 seasons, that number is 16.34.

He leads the majors over that period, with Andrew Miller coming in second and Dellin Betances third. Over the last two years, he has given up a home run once every 30 innings. The numbers are incredible. When you think about what the end of game scenario looks like for the Yankees, it should be lights out. It’s ironic that we spoke about this scenario last December - COULD WE SNAG AROLDIS CHAPMAN NOW THAT DROB'S GONE? – and we were soundly ridiculed for suggesting it as a possibility. Now the dream scenario has become reality.
The Yankees gave up 4 good, but not great, rookie prospects. Starting pitcher Rookie Davis was the most highly ranked - #6 on Baseball America’s New York Yankees Top 10 Prospects List. He made it to AA Trenton last year, where he had an ERA of 4.32 and a WHIP of 1.38. Those numbers were comparable to his minor league career numbers. Third baseman Eric Jagielo had a higher ranking last year but has since dropped after reaching AA Trenton. He recorded a batting average of .288 and an OPS of .842, but a .883 fielding percentage dampened the view on him.

Caleb Cotham was a September call up by the Yankees where he amassed a 6.52 ERA and a WHIP of 1.552 and notched his first major league win.  Tony Renda is a second baseman at the AA level who hit .269 last year but became expendable with the Starlin Castro acquisition. We wish all these kids the best of luck, but I am not crying over any of their departures. You shouldn’t either.

There are certainly bumps in the road on this one. Many are talking about his domestic violence incident last October, and with baseball’s new domestic violence policy, he could begin the season on suspension. Under no circumstances do I or do any of our writers condone such actions, and we expect baseball to do the right thing. Once it is settled, we expect this to be about baseball.

You have to applaud Brian Cashman, who has been largely silent this off season on major acquisitions, for pulling this off. The team still has gaps to fill, but we’re in a better position now.

--Ike Dimitriadis, BYB Senior Staff Writer
Twitter: @KingAgamemnon

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