The Los Angeles Dodgers backed out of a trade for Reds closer Aroldis Chapman after news broke of a domestic-violence incident in October, but the New York Yankees have decided to make the move.
Chapman has been an All Star in each of the last four seasons, posting a 1.90 ERA while striking out 16.1 batters every nine innings. He’s by far the fastest pitcher since the advent of the radar gun, throwing the 62 fastest pitches recorded by MLB Statcast in the 2015 season.
Get ready to see a lot of this emoji -🔥🔥🔥 pic.twitter.com/iipKl7hK5g
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) December 28, 2015
Last season, Chapman put up a 1.63 ERA in 65 outings, saving 33 games in 36 attempts.
However, the trade to Los Angeles fell through after an incident where he was involved in a physical confrontation with his girlfriend, cut his hand while punching a car window, and fired gunshots into a wall, missing once and sending a bullet into an adjoining field.
Despite that situation and a bullpen that already includes closer Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances, the Yankees gave up pitching prospects Rookie Davis and Caleb Cotham and young infielders Eric Jagielo and Tony Renda. Davis and Jagielo are considered the biggest prizes of the deal, with Cotham and Renda both fringe prospects.
Davis finished the season in Double-A at just 22, posting a 4.32 ERA in six outings. He struck out 24 batters in 33 1/3 innings while only walking eight. In High-A Tampa, where he started the season, he had 105 strikeouts in just 97 1/3 innings and only walked 18. He’ll be expected to start 2016 in Double-A for the Reds.
Jagielo spent 2015 with Double-A Trenton, and while he was limited to 58 games by injuries, he hit .284/.347/.495 as a 23-year-old. He’s a third baseman, although the Yankees have started to work him at first base.