The Yankees had their eyes on Aroldis Chapman since last season, even going as far as trying to acquire him before the trade deadline. But the Yankees failed in getting Chapman for their eventual one-game playoff run and their bullpen continued to face uncertainty. But fast forward to past the Winter Meetings and the Yankees worked their magic–by using Chapman’s legal troubles to their own advantage.
With Chapman’s legal issues, the price to acquire him dropped significantly, and that gave the Yankees the perfect opportunity to offer four minor leaguers to the Cincinnati Reds: Rookie Davis, Eric Jagielo, Caleb Cotham and Tony Renda. Those four rookies gave the Yankees a legitimate closer for the 2016 season, but of course there’s plenty of questions on where he’s going to start 2016. Chapman is currently under a domestic violence and gun investigation and if MLB finds him guilty of either offense, he could be suspended to start the year.
But when he returns, the Yankees could have one of the most dangerous bullpens in the American League, and it could be tough for opposing teams to win late in games.
— With the Yankee acquiring Chapman to close, it means Andrew Miller will have to give up his closing job and he would have to pitch earlier in ball games. But having to pitch earlier in the game doesn’t bother Miller one bit; in fact he’s thrilled that he gets to share the bullpen with Chapman. As long as the Yankees win a World Series in 2016, Miller doesn’t care where he pitches.
“I signed with the Yankees to win and I’m not stupid, he’s a heck of a pitcher,” Miller told NJ Advance Media in a phone interview on Tuesday. “This is what I signed up for. I signed up to play for the Yankees, to win championships, and if (general manager Brian) Cashman and the Steinbrenners and whoever is part of the decision-making process thinks this is part of the answer, and that this is the way to go about it, that’s fine by me.”
— In other news that doesn’t have to do with Chapman or Miller, Stephen Drew is no longer a Yankee. Drew signed a one-year contract worth $3 Million to play for the Washington Nationals in 2016 and will have a chance to earn a starting job in Spring Training.