The Chicago Cubs have added an important piece to the back end of their bullpen on Monday, acquiring closer Aroldis Chapman from the New York Yankees in exchange for a package including Single-A shortstop prospect Gleyber Torres, per Jon Heyman of Today's Knuckleball.
The Cubs are sending reliever Adam Warren along with Torres and Double-A right field prospect Billy McKinney in exchange for Chapman's services. The deal also includes Single-A center field prospect Rashad Crawford, according to CSN's Patrick Mooney.
The Nationals were in competition to acquire him, too, but the cost was too high for two months of a reliever who will be a free agent at the end of the season, according to MASN's Mark Zuckerman.
Chapman has been among the upper echelon of relief pitchers in baseball since assuming the closer role with the Cincinnati Reds in 2012, armed with a fastball clocked as high as 105 mph. Chapman leads all relief pitchers in strikeouts since the start of 2012, averaging 114 strikeouts and 64 innings per season from 2012-2015, with a 1.90 ERA.
This year, Chapman is 3-0 with a 2.01 ERA and 20 saves in 31 games, with 44 strikeouts and eight walks. His 165 saves since the start of 2012 rank third in baseball, behind only Craig Kimbrel (195) and Fernando Rodney (166). But there is more to consider in trading for Chapman, who is a free agent at the end of the season.
Major League Baseball suspended Chapman for 30 games to start this season for violation of the sport's domestic violence policy, stemming from an Oct. 30, 2015 incident at Chapman's home. No arrests were made, but a police report said that Chapman fired a gun eight times in his garage, and his girlfriend alleged that Chapman pushed her and put his hands around her neck.
The Los Angeles Dodgers backed out of a trade for Chapman at the 2015 winter meetings once the domestic violence news broke, then three weeks later Chapman was traded to the Yankees for four minor leaguers.
Torres, 19, is hitting .275/.359/.433 with 23 doubles and nine home runs in 94 games for Class-A Myrtle Beach, with 19 stolen bases. The shortstop was signed out of Venezuela by the Cubs in July 2013. He was ranked the 27th-best prospect in baseball in the Baseball America midseason top 100.
Chapman is making $11.325 million this season, meaning there is a little over $4 million remaining for the rest of 2016.
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