Chicago Cubs All in for 2016
The Cubs really, really wanted Aroldis Chapman for the next two months and the post-season. It is little short of amazing that the Cubs would give up this much talent for a 2+ month rental, but that is what happens when you haven’t won a World Series in more than 100 years and you can taste the possibility this season.
In my mind this trade is an unmitigated win for the Yankees. While they are still kinda, sorta in the play-off race, they turned two-months of Chapman (and the sandwich pick that would have come with tendering Chapman the one-year deal at season’s end) into some really excellent young talent in Gleyber Torres and Billy McKinney. They also get a serviceable major league pitcher in Adam Warren and a B-grade prospect in Rashad Crawford. That’s an awful lot of talent for a two-month relief pitcher rental, even if the relief pitcher is Chapman.
The new budget-conscious Yankees will be out from under Mark Teixeira’s contract at the end of this season and could well end up signing Chapman as a free agent this off-season if they want him back. Since Chapman was just traded mid-season, the Yankees could re-sign him without losing a draft pick. Meanwhile, they’ve done a lot to rebuild their farm system in one fell swoop.
It will be hard for New York’s win-now fans to accept, but the 2016 club surely does not look like a team that would make the play-offs, no matter what the current standings are. When your only hitter (in a hitters’ park no less) with an OPS over .800 is 39 years old, it’s hard to argue that some rebuilding is not in order.