It has long been debated whether the New York Yankees would be sellers at the deadline for the first time in nearly a quarter of a century. The full answer to that question remains to be seen, but trading Aroldis Chapman, who is set to become a free agent after the season, appeared necessary and inevitable.
Rumors have been swirling all weekend that Chapman was close to being traded, and multiple reports are now saying that he has been dealt to the Chicago Cubs. Jon Heyman reported that the deal is a four-for-one; the four Cubs going to New York are Gleyber Torres, Billy McKinney, Adam Warren, and Rashad Crawford, with Chapman going to Chicago.
Yanks and Cubs have a deal. Torres, mckinney, Warren and likely 1 more to NYY.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) July 25, 2016
— Patrick Mooney (@CSNMooney) July 25, 2016
The Cubs’ prospects for winning their first World Series in over a century look brighter than ever thanks to a plethora of young-talent, and it seems as though Theo Epstein and Co. are going all-in. They have the offense and the starting pitchers, but the Cubs were lacking that power arm to come out of the bullpen and close games. Chapman is by far the hardest thrower in the game and he instantly increases the Cubs chances of making — and winning — the World Series. If they do, no one will remember who the Cubs gave up for Chapman.
On the other side of the deal, the Yankees have traded a big-league ballplayer for prospects for the first time in forever. It was the right move, and the Yankees (and their fans) should be thrilled with the package they received.
Torres, a 19-year-old shortstop, headlines the return package. Keith Law of ESPN.com recently released his midseason top 50 MLB prospects list and ranked Torres as the 26th-best prospect in baseball. Law said of Torres: “He’s hitting .270/.348/.423 as one of only three teenage regulars in the Carolina League, and doing so even though his home park is death on power. … I’d still like to see more consistency in his game at the plate, but that might be a little unfair to a guy who’s the same age as most college freshmen.” It is clear Torres has room to grow and develop, but his skill set is clearly way ahead of his age.
The Yankees will also receive Warren, a right-handed pitcher whom they actually traded this past offseason for Starlin Castro. Warren, who has struggled in Chicago this season, will most likely replace Chapman in the bullpen and become the seventh-inning man, ahead of Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller.
The third piece the Yankees are getting back is former first-round draft pick Billy McKinney. Heading into the 2016 season, McKinney was ranked in Baseball America’s, MLB.com’s, and BaseballProspectus.com’s top-100 prospects in baseball. He has struggled mightily this year at the plate, but he is still just 21 years old. The Yankees are taking a flier on McKinney and hoping that he is a buy-low candidate and can rejuvenate his game with a change of scenery.
Crawford is a 22-year-old outfielder who is batting .255/.327/.386 with 22 stolen bases at High-A Myrtle Beach this season.