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NEW YORK YANKEES
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Acquired LHP Aroldis Chapman from the Reds in exchange for RHPs Caleb Cotham and Rookie Davis, 2B-R Tony Renda, and 3B-L Eric Jagielo. [12/28]

Here's a trade that should make you feel uncomfortable. Chapman is now two months removed from firing his gun eight times following an argument and physical altercation with his girlfriend and child's mother. (That none of the above resulted in an arrest might make you feel uncomfortable, too.)

Without legal repercussions to worry about, the closest thing to punishment Chapman will face will come from baseball itself. Commissioner Rob Manfred has yet to issue a suspension or fine stemming from the game's new domestic violence policy, so who knows what that will entail. This much is obvious: In a perverse way, Chapman's new team is benefiting from his violence. The Yankees not only acquired Chapman for less than it would've cost them in July or early October, but they could gain an additional year of control if Chapman gets a suspension longer than 45 days, thereby pushing back his free agency date. What a mess.

Invariably, plenty will say this is how sports work and have always worked. Fans don't pay to see choir boys, you see, so teams don't limit their employee pool to those with outstanding moral fiber. Instead, if a player is talented enough—and Chapman obviously and evidently is—then they can do just about anything while maintaining job security. Whether it should be this way, hey, there are many things in this world that shouldn't be the way they are; why would baseball or pro sports be any different, right? Or wrong, since baseball fancies itself a family game, while employing these types suggests otherwise.

No matter where you fall on that debate, Chapman is going to inspire ballpark and living-room conversations that you wouldn't expect to have during a baseball game. And, from a super-wide lens perspective, maybe that's a tiny positive in a rotten situation; the outrage means people care and want change for the better. This isn't to suggest that fans are somehow the biggest victims here—they aren't—but if you care about player morals at all, it could be a sign that things will get better someday.

Because this is a baseball site covering a baseball trade, there are certain expectations that must be met. Let's satisfy those by now discussing Chapman the ballplayer, as opposed to Chapman the person.

The on-the-field ramifications here are straightforward: Chapman is one of the best closers in the game. He converts his freakish flexibility and arm speed into impossible velocity and strikeout tallies, and gives the Yankees three of last season's top 14 pitchers, according to DRA-. Chapman also gives Joe Girardi another reason to limit Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances' workload—and remember, Girardi already went to great lengths to limit their burden—and/or Brian Cashman an excuse to trade Andrew Miller. Provided Cashman passes on that opportunity, the Yankees have the makings of a special late-game trio—one that ought to make for brief seventh, eighth, and ninth half-innings.

That should make Yankees fans feel good about the baseball portion of this deal, even if the human part of the deal leaves them icky. —R.J. Anderson

Fantasy Impact

Aroldis Chapman

The omnipresent cloud of uncertainty hanging over Chapman’s future makes him one of the most challenging fantasy assets to analyze heading into 2016. The move to New York only further complicates matters, as he joins a bullpen with an established closer (Miller) and one of the elite set-up men in the game (Betances). Unless the Yankees are prepared to name Chapman their undisputed closer heading into the impending campaign, his fantasy stock will take an immediate hit in re-draft formats.

There’s no denying that New York has assembled arguably the most dominant trifecta of relievers ever, which is saying something, given that they used to roll out some guy named Mariano Rivera. In 2015, Chapman, Miller and Betances ranked first, second and third, respectively, in strikeouts-per-nine (K/9), combining for an absurd 347 strikeouts in just 212 and two-third innings.

Individually, they’re fantastic. However, from a fantasy perspective, it’s a major problem that they’re all on the same roster, since only one of them can close. Right now, the smart money is on Miller, at least to open the year. But even in a setup capacity, there is no disputing the Cuban flamethrower’s Statcast-breaking talent. The numbers over the past three seasons are insane.

Year

IP

K/9

BB/9

ERA

DRA

cFIP

2013

63.2

15.8

4.1

2.54

3.01

57

2014

54.0

17.7

4.0

2.00

1.39

38

2015

66.1

15.7

4.5

1.63

2.48

60

Even if he isn’t closing, Chapman, who finished as the fourth-best reliever in standard mixed leagues (earning $19) last year, is worthy of consideration as a top-10 fantasy reliever this upcoming season. He’s just that good.

Andrew Miller

The southpaw finished last season as the junior circuit’s top reliever, earning $23 in AL-only formats, while only Mark Melancon ($21) earned more in standard mixed leagues. Given the uncertainty surrounding both Chapman’s roster status and future role in New York, both for 2016 and beyond (as an impending free agent), it would be foolish to panic completely, especially in keeper and dynasty formats. It’s unlikely that Miller is either traded or removed from the closer's role entirely to open the season, but the Chapman acquisition trims his margin for error to razor-thin levels. There is a strong possibility Miller remains the primary closer, but at the very least, he should drop from a sure top-five fantasy reliever to the tail-end of the top 10 in 2016 re-draft leagues.

Dellin Betances

The Chapman acquisition virtually eliminates any path to the ninth inning, but it also opens the door for Betances to potentially rack up even more innings this upcoming season. The 27-year-old followed up his 2014 breakout performance with a 2.13 DRA in 84 innings (74 appearances), earning $18 in standard mixed leagues ($20 in AL-only formats). With the Chapman/Miller tandem locking down the final six outs, there is a strong possibility his usage pattern becomes similar to that of a rich-man’s Steve Geltz, capable of working multiple innings to bridge the gap between the rotation and back-end of the Yankee 'pen. —George Bissell

CINCINNATI REDS
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Acquired RHPs Caleb Cotham and Rookie Davis, 2B-R Tony Renda, and 3B-L Eric Jagielo from the New York Yankees in exchange for LHP Aroldis Chapman. [12/28]

Jagielo has the best chance of becoming a regular in this deal, but he's far from a lock. He's a smart hitter who will work counts, and his feel for hitting gives him a chance for a solid-average hit tool. He's strong, and the natural loft in his swing makes him a 20-25 homer candidate. He's not a good defender at third and has battled injuries, so corner bench bat or DH is a real possibility.

In addition to having a name that will be mocked for years, Davis has back-end starter stuff. He sits 92-94 with his fastball, and he pounds the strike zone with all three pitches. Two of those pitches—the curveball and change —are only average at best, so you shouldn't expect more than a no. 4 starter.

Cotham should be able to help the Reds bullpen in 2016, though this is no Chapman replacement. He doesn't have a pitch to get quality lefties out, but his above-average fastball/slider combination with solid command should make him a competent middle-reliever.

Renda is your prototypical 25th man—if there is such a thing—and is essentially why the term “throw-in" was created. He makes a lot of contact and has a solid approach, but everything else is below average, and he's not particularly strong at any defensive position. If you see Renda starting for the Reds at any point in 2016 or beyond, a lot of players got hurt or tanking is very real. —Christopher Crawford

J.J. Hoover and Jumbo Diaz

The next man up for the Reds, barring a move to bring in a more established veteran, is Hoover. The 28-year-old right-hander has served as a capable set-up man in the past. He has always struggled with his command (4.1 BB/9 for his career) but the greater concern was the dip in strikeouts (7.3 K/9) last season.

Lurking in the shadows is the 31-year-old Diaz, who spent 13 years in the minors across five different organizations before making his debut in 2014. The strikeouts (10.1 K/9 over 97 career appearances) are enticing, but the pedestrian ERA (3.63) and WHIP (1.25) limit him to being an end-game target in deeper mixed leagues. Pegged as a top-75 pitcher by cFIP, a predictive pitching metric, to close out last season, Diaz is an intriguing saves sleeper for advanced metric-savvy fantasy owners to target in 2016. —George Bissell

Thank you for reading

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sam19041
12/29
Love the headline. Say hi to Roger and Re-run. Back to baseball, however, what about the information asymmetry? Did the Yankees simply know something that the Dodgers didn't? Or the Reds didn't? If the Reds were this desperate to unload Chapman, and the Dodgers wouldn't take on the risk, why would the Yankees? ...... UNLESS the Yankees know something nobody else does (local relationship with Manfred/MLB offices?), or are simply more willing to take on a financial burden.
johnjmaier
12/29
It looks like the price of Chapman came down since the Dodger deal fell thru (based on what was they were reported to be sending the Reds). I think for the Yankees it was now worth the risk based on the benefit of him pitching for them in 2015 plus the compensation pick if they don't resign him. If Chapman is suspended for a significant amount of time, say 50 games, then the Yankees will have him for 2017 as well as Chapman's free agency will then be delayed (suspension time does not count as service time). The Yankees gave up very little here.
maphal
12/29
Another sell low deal by Jocketty. Lean days for Reds fans.
johnjmaier
12/29
You are telling me. It is a bummer and I am not even a Reds fan. Five years ago they looked like a real powerhouse and all they got out of it was two division series losses. Now on the back end, they are not making the most of their sell off either.
Unglued
12/29
Not a great trade for the Reds IMHO. I think they would have been better off waiting until the trade deadline.
BrewersTT
12/31
This got minused but it seems to make sense to me. By the trade deadline, any suspension may be over, in which case it's plausible that contenders would line up to trade too much in the heat of the moment. Even if he came back from a suspension and was ineffective, teams would remember recent years and take a chance. How could you get less than this bunch of spare parts, unless he can't pitch at all?
Richie
12/29
Rocker crashed after his comments made him a pariah. Maybe the Reds foresee the same thing re Chapman?
tearecrules
12/29
I'm not sure why I should feel uncomfortable that no one was arrested after an argument between two adults in an intimate relationship when credible witnesses to the incident have conflicting and incompatible versions of what happened. That one of the participants fired his gun after-he-fact at no one and near no one and in the confines of his own garage is a distraction (and not illegal, but very ill-advised). What the heck are police expected to do when Victim A says they were assaulted, but lack any physical proof of such assault, Alleged Assailant B says they didn't do it, Witness C supports A and Witness D supports B?
DetroitDale
12/29
You make several good points. The incident was ugly to be sure, but I'm encouraged by the fact that it's the only one I remember this year. I remember a time when you couldn't go a week without hearing about another baseball player on drugs and another player beating up his wife or girlfriend.
tearecrules
1/25
Jose Reyes apparently beat up his wife while on vacation.
aquavator44
1/01
Saying Chapman did something wrong (legally or morally) and saying you're uncomfortable about him are two different things. The incident, as reported, indicates Chapman might have an anger problem that has the potential to express itself violently, and definitely indicates some poor judgement with regard to the gun firing.
jkaflagg
12/30
Have only heard talk of "the greatest bullpen in baseball history", but nobody seems to want to talk about the reality of 2 proven closers trying to co-exist in the same bullpen, plus a third guy who would probably close for about 26 other teams but will never get a sniff of the 9th inning if the other two guys stay...in a perfect world everyone is thrilled to be part of a monster shut down bullpen, but in this world there are going to be players (and their agents) who feel that their talents (and part of their future earning potential) are being shortchanged. Have to feel that if Chapman avoids any MLB discipline a trade of Miller or even Betances will be coming, with the Yanks looking for a Ken Giles - level package and maybe getting it.