Written by: Tre LyDay – Staff Writing Intern (@trelyday03)
We had our first significant trade of season on Monday, and it came courtesy of the Yankees and Cubs. The Yankees traded closer Aroldis Chapman to the Cubs for four players; RHP Adam Warren, shortstop Gleyber Torres, outfielder Billy McKinney, and Rashad Crawford. The move was a win-win for both clubs.
The bullpen has always been an area of question for the Cubs for the last couple years, so it only makes sense that they go get an elite closer. The Cubs obviously don’t feel that Hector Rondon is at the level that they need in a closer, otherwise they may not have made this trade. The Cubs were overpowered by Jeurys Familia last year in the NLCS, and they weren’t going to be left behind in the arms race for power bullpen arms, so they got the most powerful arm in baseball.
The Cubs are sitting at 59-39, and they’re 6-4 in their last ten games. If it wasn’t for the Cardinals and Pirates struggling to string wins together their lead in the NL Central lead wouldn’t be as big as it is. As I mentioned before, their biggest problem was their bullpen, and now it’s not that big of a problem anymore.
As for the Yankees, who just finished a ten game home stand 6-4 are not waving the “white flag” as GM Brian Cashman put it. Chapman was always their biggest asset in terms of trade value, because of his talent, and his expiring contract. The Yankees have what a lot of teams don’t have. Money. They don’t necessarily rebuild, they just reload. Now they get to do both. Their bullpen was their biggest asset, and they knew they could sell high on any one of the big three.
Originally the Yankees thought about moving Andrew Miller for a Kyle Schwarber level player, but the Cubs wouldn’t budge on that so they moved to the next best thing. Two top five prospects. They already have Aaron Judge in their farm system, Torres and McKinney only betters it.
Nothing changes for the Yankees as far as their current roster goes. They spent the first 30 games without Chapman, all they have to do now is put Betances back in the eighth, and Miller is the closer once again. Cashman has already said they aren’t giving up on the season regardless of this trade, and the team believes that as well. Since July 17th the Yankees lead baseball in starter ERA at 1.81. If their starters continue to pitch the way they have been, then the trade shouldn’t falter the team that much.
The Yankees unlike the Cubs are on the outside looking in, chasing a Wild Card spot. This current series with the Astros is especially pivotal seeing as they’re one of the teams they’re chasing. They trail the Astros by three games, and the second Wild Card spot by four and a half. They beat the Astros in game one of their three game set to move to 51-48. It’s the highest they’ve been above .500 all year.