According to Jack Curry of the YES Network, the Yankees are on the verge of trading for Reds closer Aroldis Chapman. Chapman was involved in trade rumors earlier this offseason before reports of his domestic violence issues caused the deal with the Dodgers to fall apart. Perhaps that caused his price tag to fall low enough that the Yankees were interested.
Brian Cashman had been looking for bullpen help after trading Adam Warren to the Cubs for Starlin Castro and Justin Wilson to the Tigers for two minor league pitchers. The Yankee GM vowed on the day of the Wilson trade that he wasn't done making moves, but this one is certainly not one that was expected. It is unclear whether or not this is a precursor to another move or not, since Andrew Miller was reportedly on the trade block earlier in the offseason. New York could certainly go with a three-headed approach of Chapman-Betances-Miller in the bullpen, but you have to think that Chapman is going to want to close. Who knows what that means for the bullpen dynamic.
The biggest uncertainty that comes with Chapman is that he could face a lengthy suspension from MLB as part of their domestic violence policy. No one knows what that penalty is yet because no one has faced suspension, so Chapman will be among the first that MLB will be wanting to make an example of. If he misses 50 games, for example, the team would have him under control for another season beyond 2016 because he cannot miss more than 45 days in order to become a free agent.
Domestic violence allegations against Chapman are certainly concerning from a fan standpoint. It makes it a little harder to root for guys who you know are not the greatest people off the field. Rooting for laundry is cleaner and easier, but it's a lot nicer to cheer for guys you like than people you don't. Hopefully the Yankees know more than we do at this point.
Yankees have acquired Aroldis Chapman from the Reds for RHPs Caleb Cotham and Rookie Davis and INFs Eric Jagielo and Tony Renda.— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) December 28, 2015
Initial read I am getting is #Yankees plan to keep Miller, Betances and Chapman to form powerhouse end game— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) December 28, 2015
Rookie Davis is among players heading to Cincinnati. #Yankees— Josh Norris (@jnorris427) December 28, 2015