The Cubs have acquired reliever Aroldis Chapman from the Yankees in exchange for shortstop Gleyber Torres, right-hander Adam Warren, outfielder Billy McKinney and outfielder Rashad Crawford, as first reported by Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports.
Today’s blockbuster is indicative of a philosophy shift for both clubs, as the Cubs made a major addition as they push for their first World Series championship since 1908 while the Yankees took a step back and re-stocked their farm system by dealing away a rental piece. At first glance, the price for Chapman appears to be a steep one, in terms of both quality and quantity.
Chapman was one of the top relievers available on the trade market this summer and will give the Cubs an imposing force at the back end of their bullpen. Chicago had been working with Hector Rondon as its closer, but was known to be aggressively pursuing back-end upgrades in advance of next Monday’s trade deadline. Chapman will be the second major left-handed bullpen acquisition for Chicago, joining recent addition Mike Montgomery.
Chapman, 28, has posted a 2.01 ERA while saving 20 games in 31.1 innings with the Yankees in a season cut short by a 30-game suspension for violating Major League Baseball’s domestic violence policy. He was originally acquired by the Yankees from the Reds for four mid-level prospects in late December, though New York appears to be getting a more significant haul for him at this stage.
Chapman has drawn strong interest from a number of clubs, with the Indians, Nationals, Rangers and Giants among the teams to make bids within the last few days. He is a free agent after the winter, and has expressed a willingness to explore re-signing with the Yankees at that time.
According to multiple reports, the Cubs do not have an agreement in place on an extension with Chapman. The Yankees explored an extension with him, but made the trade once it was realized that he was likely to test the open market after the season.
Torres, 19, was scratched from the lineup Sunday at High-A Myrtle Beach due to his involvement in trade talks, according to a source. He appears to be the headliner of the package, with MLB.com currently ranking him as the top prospect in the Cubs’ system.
Torres is a five-tool player who was signed out of Venezuela for $1.7 million in 2013, and has hit .275/.359/.433 with nine home runs in 94 games for Myrtle Beach so far this season. He was ranked by Baseball America as the 27th-best prospect in baseball at mid-season, though is expendable for the Cubs due to Addison Russell being the club’s long-term option at shortstop.
Warren, 28, has struggled to a 5.91 ERA in 29 appearances (one start) with the Cubs after being acquired from the Yankees for Starlin Castro during the Winter Meetings. He appears headed back to New York, where he pitched from 2012 to 2015 and posted a 3.39 ERA in 289.1 innings.
McKinney, 21, was traded from the Athletics to the Cubs two summers ago as part of the blockbuster that sent Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel to Oakland and Russell to Chicago. He is ranked as Chicago’s 5th-best prospect by MLB.com, and is an offense-first outfielder who has hit .252/.355/.322 in 88 games for Double-A Tennessee this year.
Crawford, 22, was Chicago’s 11th-round pick in the 2012 draft and has hit .255/.327/.386 with three homers in 83 games at Myrtle Beach this season. He does not rank among the Cubs’ top 30 prospects on MLB.com.