Yankees sign Aroldis Chapman

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Updated: December 8, 2016

Last season the Yankees went into the season with a three-headed monster in the bullpen that was expected to hold any lead. With Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances setting up Aroldis Chapman, the Yankees were thought to be unstoppable after the sixth inning. While that was mostly true, it was the other six innings that were a problem for them and they ended up trading two of the three. Today, they ended up getting one back.

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The Yankees signed Aroldis Chapman to a five-year $86MM deal that is the largest for a reliever in MLB history. In his career, Chapman has been nothing short of dominate with a 2.08 ERA and an absurd 15.2 strikeout per nine rate.

Year Age Tm Lg ERA SV IP ERA+ FIP WHIP H9 HR9 BB9 SO9
2010 22 CIN NL 2.03 0 13.1 206 1.35 1.050 6.1 0.0 3.4 12.8
2011 23 CIN NL 3.60 1 50.0 110 3.28 1.300 4.3 0.4 7.4 12.8
2012 ★ 24 CIN NL 1.51 38 71.2 274 1.55 0.809 4.4 0.5 2.9 15.3
2013 ★ 25 CIN NL 2.54 38 63.2 149 2.47 1.037 5.2 1.0 4.1 15.8
2014 ★ 26 CIN NL 2.00 36 54.0 185 0.89 0.833 3.5 0.2 4.0 17.7
2015 ★ 27 CIN NL 1.63 33 66.1 244 1.94 1.146 5.8 0.4 4.5 15.7
2016 28 NYY AL 2.01 20 31.1 218 1.93 0.894 5.7 0.6 2.3 12.6
2016 28 CHC NL 1.01 16 26.2 401 0.82 0.825 4.1 0.0 3.4 15.5
7 Yrs 2.08 182 377.0 192 1.88 0.992 4.8 0.5 4.1 15.2
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/8/2016.


 
Chapman, of course, is not without controversy. Last year during the offseason he allegedly choked his girlfriend and then left that room to fire eight shots from his gun in the garage. The police were called and the incident left a black mark on his reputation. He was suspended for 30 games to start the season. When he was traded to the Cubs, many of their fans donated to domestic violence charities and they raised $31K after the move. He is a great pitcher, but very conflicting for some fans.

For the Yankees, this is the best of both worlds. They traded him this offseason for a huge package headlined by Gleyber Torres who had been rated the #17 prospect in the game by MLB (although he is only 19). They also got Billy McKinney, Rashad Crawford and major league reliever Adam Warren back in the deal. Warren should join him in the bullpen again this season. You always hear about teams trading an upcoming free agent and then wanting to bring him back, but this is one of the few teams that we’ve actually seen that happen. It only took a record setting contract to do it.

The Yankees were a fun team after trading everyone this year. After bringing up prospects Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez, things really started to click for them. They should be a much better team this year, but not quite at the level of the Red Sox. They are still on the lookout for starting pitching as well, but it feels as if they don’t want to mess too much with their young core. I could definitely see them moving Brett Gardner as well this offseason as Clint Frazier, an acquisition from the Miller trade, is nearly ready as well.

Chapman and Betances will make up one of the best one-two punches at the back of the bullpen in the entire MLB. Can they score enough runs? Quite possibly. Can they get the ball to them with a lead? That remains to be seen. This is a good move, but if we’ve learned anything about the Yankees we know that they probably aren’t done yet.

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