On December 28, 2015 the Yankees traded Rookie Davis, Eric Jagielo, Tony Renda, and Caleb Cotham for Aroldis Chapman. At the time, the media was able to share some insight on what the Yankees’ plans were and what the team was thinking. Providing useful quotes on the Yankees’ thoughts about Chapman’s domestic violence incident and the team’s plan regarding Andrew Miller, fans got a glimpse to see what the Yankees were planning on doing.
At the time of the trade, the Yankees were coming off a successful season in which they made it to the Wild Card game, so the trade was seen as something that would help improve a contending team. What wasn’t discussed as much was what would happen if the Yankees failed to meet expectations. Obviously, 2016 has been one of the more disappointing seasons in recent times (which is quite shocking considering 2013 and 2014 happened), so the Yankees took advantage of a strength and flipped Chapman in order to help the future.
So what light can the media shed regarding the trade that saw Aroldis Chapman go to Chicago?
While it made sense to trade Chapman even if the team suffered delusions of contending, it came as somewhat of a shocker that the Yankees did indeed "sell" on Chapman. Well, it turns out that this was not their first option. Instead of trading him away, it turns out the Yankees approached Chapman about an extension who, understandably, wanted to test out the free agent market.
Brian Cashman on Aroldis Chapman trade: "This was an easy call and this was the right call."— Tyler Kepner (@TylerKepner) July 25, 2016
Cashman: "This isn't a white flag. This is a re-arrangement, as well as us capitalizing on and maximizing the acquisition cost of Chapman."— Tyler Kepner (@TylerKepner) July 25, 2016
Fortunately, someone (probably Brian Cashman) talked some sense into ownership. But as Tyler noted in his post yesterday, it's that second part of the second tweet that really feels icky. While many want to talk strictly baseball and avoid the ugly domestic violence in Chapman's past, especially since he did serve his suspension, it's really difficult to do so when that incident is really the only reason we're here in the first place. "Maximizing the acquisition cost of Chapman" is an ugly thing to say and admit. Charges or no charges, jail time or not, the Yankees took advantage of a horrible thing, and it's an ugly pill to swallow.
Theo: "Trade was contingent on" Tom/Theo/Jed talk with Chapman to address DV history. Got MLB, NYY consent to meet w/Chapman b4 decision"— Gordon Wittenmyer (@GDubCub) July 25, 2016
Asked if Theo heard AC's comments when first activated by NYY & if he believes AC's grown since then. One reason they talked to him directly— Sahadev Sharma (@sahadevsharma) July 25, 2016
For what it's worth, which really isn't a lot, he is at least showing some signs of regret and remorse for what he did, unlike earlier, when all he was focused on was maintaining his innocence. But at least the Cubs spoke to him, did their due diligence, and made their decision to go through with this trade (especially without the guarantee of an extension).
#Yankees were led to believe that Chapman would rather test free agency, and that NYY would have chance to re-sign then.— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) July 25, 2016
Chapman said the Cubs didn't try to negotiate an extension before the trade. So could he come back to the Yankees? "God willing, yeah."— Mark Feinsand (@FeinsandNYDN) July 25, 2016
Just because Chapman wanted to test free agency and rejected extension talks, does not mean the he still won't end up with the Yankees. It really hasn't been a secret that Chapman has enjoyed his time in New York, so him being open to r-esigning with the Yankees is also likely why ownership signed off on the trade.
For a guy who spent less than 3 months here Chapman seems moved by his Yankee experience. Called it a "first class organization."— Sweeny Murti (@YankeesWFAN) July 25, 2016
Chapman: it's hard bc I feel like part of the Yankees family so it's sad bc I am leaving this family #yankees— Meredith Marakovits (@M_Marakovits) July 25, 2016
From a purely baseball sense, if he does end up signing back with the Yankees, Cashman will have pulled off one of the most incredible feats ever by a GM. Even if he doesn't return, this is still excellent work by the Yankees' GM, and shows how truly underappreciated he is that there is still a #FireCashman contingent out there.
Crawford is a perfect 4th player in the deal, lottery ticket CF with tools--+ defender, + speed. Question is the bat https://t.co/zotUMs5LRz— JJ Cooper (@jjcoop36) July 25, 2016
Hear #Yankees are sending Gleyber Torres to High-A to be Jorge Mateo's teammate. Mateo likely to play a lot of 2b for now.— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) July 25, 2016
Brian Cashman has essentially taken a position-less player in Jagielo, a decent-but-not-too-great pitching prospect in Davis, and a Brendan Ryan in Brendan Ryan and turned that into Torres, Billy McKinney, and Starlin Castro. It's time to give the man his due and the credit he deserves.
Theo: "Can't take for granted the position we're in ... Gave up a lot. But if not now, when"— Gordon Wittenmyer (@GDubCub) July 25, 2016
Even the other team admits they "gave up a lot" for Chapman, which isn't really often seen. In addition to Torres and McKinney, a familiar face is returning to the team. Adam Warren will once again put on the pinstripes and hopefully help solidify the middle relief area that left a lot to be deserved this year. And he will provide the Yankees with a lot of flexibility.
Addition of Adam Warren would give NYY a little more flexibility to move one of their other starters (Pineda? Eovaldi) in a thin SP market.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) July 25, 2016
Brian Cashman says he's not sure if Warren will go to bullpen or join the rotation, he can do both. "That's the greatness of Adam Warren."— Kenny Ducey (@KennyDucey) July 25, 2016
While he wasn't particularly "great" at any one thing, Adam Warren was very good at multiple things. He could start, provide short relief, and provide long relief and not be a liability anywhere. It's something that's truly amazing about him, and even though he's having a down year, the Yankees are hoping he can regain his form.
So people wondered if Bryan Mitchell/A. Swarzak/Chad Green/etc could fill the "Adam Warren role." They wound up just getting Adam Warren.— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) July 25, 2016
Really though. Who better to get than the player the "role" is named after? Hopefully returning to a familiar scene can help him out and turn his year around. I'm sure he's excited to potentially put a down half-season behind him. He's not the only one who's potentially excited though.
You can say the Cubs can afford to give up Torres, and that's fine. Giving up a potential 6 shortstop for a reliever? No thanks.— Christopher Crawford (@CVCrawfordBP) July 24, 2016
Take 2...For those asking why Yanks would want another SS in Torres, the Astros had Correa and still drafted Bregman. Now starting at third.— Jack Curry (@JackCurryYES) July 26, 2016
Gleyber Torres is the prize of the trade, and as Crawford mentioned, he has tremendous talent. Curry's reference to the Astros' current "crowded" big league infield situation is exactly the reason why it's not a problem to stockpile on shortstops. Get the talent.
In other hand I'm pumped to belong to the organization with most history in baseball. NYC get ready. This just begins! @Yankees— Gleyber Torres (@TorresGleyber) July 25, 2016
Excited to start a new chapter with the @Yankees and see what God has in store for me!— Billy McKinney (@billy_mckinney) July 26, 2016
Both Torres and McKinney made sure to thank the Cubs organization for their time there, which is always nice and classy, but showing seemingly genuine excitement to join the Yankees organization is always nice. It's great to acquire players who actually want to be with that team, and it seems like the Yankees found prospects who fit the bill here.