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Yankees trade for closer Aroldis Chapman amid domestic violence questions

The Yankees added another late-inning reliever to an already frightening bullpen, but Chapman comes with personal questions yet to be answered.

Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

After years of Mariano Rivera as the Yankees' closer, New York has gone through multiple replacements in the wake of his retirement. You can maybe add another name to the list, as they have reportedly traded for Reds' closer and impending free agent Aroldis Chapman, according to Ken Rosenthal.

The Yankees are sending the Reds four minor league players, though none of them count among their top prospects, per Jack Curry. The team later announced that those minor leaguers will be RHP Caleb Cotham, RHP Rookie Davis, INF Eric Jagielo, and INF Tony Renda.

The Reds nearly traded Chapman to the Dodgers earlier in the offseason, but those plans were aborted when it was discovered that Chapman was involved in a domestic abuse incident in October: Chapman reportedly choked his girlfriend and then fired off his gun eight times in his garage. While no arrests were made, it was kept a secret either by Chapman, the Reds, or both, and discovered by at least the Red Sox in their quest to trade for a closer before it became public knowledge.


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There were whispers earlier in the offseason that the Yankees would trade Andrew Miller for the right return -- with Chapman around, that might only become more likely. With that being said, even though he wasn't arrested, Chapman can still be suspended under Major League Baseball's new domestic violence policies, and the length of that potential suspension is unknown. Dealing Miller could leave a hole in the bullpen if Chapman is indeed punished by MLB, and either way, he's a free agent after 2016.

On the other hand, as Jon Morosi reported earlier this month, a lengthy suspension would grant the Yankees another year of team control. That changes things entirely, in terms of how much time he'd miss versus the total amount of time the Yankees could keep Chapman around.

If the Yankees do keep Miller around, that would give them Chapman, Miller, and Dellin Betances in whatever late-inning roles they are needed. That's a trio that's as dominant as what anyone else in the game has, including the division rival Red Sox, who added Craig Kimbrel to Koji Uehara and Junichi Tazawa over Chapman after discovering his history.

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