Tired of Chapman talk yet? Here's my latest...
When the Yankees acquired Aroldis Chapman on Monday, the Yankees, as a baseball team, became much better. Off the field and in the eyes of some, the allegations that Chapman choked and shoved his girlfriend before firing eight gunshots in his garage, gave the Yankees a bad image. While the PR issues are serious concerns, the Yankees are much better on the field today than they were on Sunday and the rewards outweighed the risks when it was all said and done.
As of last Thursday, no charges have been filed against Chapman and in America we are presumed innocent until proven guilty. If it comes to light that he is convicted or admits to the domestic violence allegations, he deserves a punishment for sure and NOBODY in their right mind condones domestic violence. He also made a terrible decision to discharge his weapon in his garage, not far from his girlfriend and child. That is also a terrible decision that deserves repercussions if found to be true.
With all that being said, from a baseball perspective, GM Brian Cashman made a terrific move to improve his ball club. As he stated, the Reds asking price was modified due to the allegations and in layman's terms, the deal was too good to refuse.
The addition of Chapman gives the Yankees one of the best bullpens ever assembled. Dellin Betances, Andrew Miller and Aroldis Chapman, the three relievers in all of baseball with the most strikeouts in 2014, may all just be a phone call away for Joe Girardi.
It's also been reported that if Chapman is suspended and misses a certain number of games, he will not become a free agent until after 2017, instead of after 2016, giving the Yankees another year of team control. That is a potential bonus of the possible suspension.
The trade itself gives Brian Cashman some wiggle room in terms of potential deals. Chapman replaces Justin Wilson in the bullpen as another power arm from the left side. It also allows a bit of a safety net for the bullpen if Cashman gets an offer for Miller, who is still under contract for three more seasons.
There are three scenarios that could happen, in my opinion, over the next season. First is the Yankees have three stud relievers taking a burden off the starting rotation that has a ton of question marks, but also a ton of upside. The starters will need to go just five or six innings before turning the game over to Betances, Miller and Chapman. I'm sure Girardi isn't upset with that!
(In Photo: Danny Salazar)
The second scenario is Cashman finds a deal he likes before Opening Day, presumably for Miller, which brings a controllable, young MLB ready starter to the Bronx. Some media reports have suggested the Indians Danny Salazar or Carlos Carrasco, while others have mentioned the Nationals Gio Gonzalez or the White Sox Jose Quintana as potential trade targets. That's just speculation though.
The third scenario, which I could see as very plausible, is that the Yankees play out the first half of the 2016 season and come July evaluate where the club stands. If they are not a contender, they could try a fire sale and get rid of Miller and others, perhaps Teixeira to a team wanting to rent a power bat (since his contract expires after the season). With Mark Teixeira and Carlos Beltran due to become free agents, acquiring more young players to build for the future could be a great course of action to take.
The risk that the Yankees took with the allegations is a concern. There is no doubt about it. I'm not defending Chapman in any way when it comes to the off the field issues, but what the man can do when given a baseball is something special. The Reds made their decision to part ways with Chapman for a huge discount and once the price dropped to the point where the reward outweighed the risk, Cashman and the Yankees jumped on it.
Whatever happens off the field is MLB's and Chapman's business and the Yankees know that they have to accept the repercussions. That's their risk. It's unfortunate but once that situation is resolved, Chapman can just be a flame throwing reliever again. That's the reward.
Purely from a baseball perspective, this is a tremendous move.
BYB Senior Writer
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