Ah, thaaat’s better: the old, values-free, win-at-any-price New York Yankees we’ve grown to know and hate.
The Yankees today announced the acquisition of left-hander Aroldis Chapman from the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for four minor league prospects of no great note. Chapman is arguably the most dominating late inning closer in baseball, as well as its hardest throwing pitcher: the left-hander averaged 99.5 mph on his fastball last season, and threw more balls in excess of 100 mph than all other major league pitchers combined. So why were the Yankees able to acquire him so cheaply?
Well, it’s because Chapman was regarded as virtually untradable due to his being investigated by MLB for choking his girlfriend, and this was not the first instance where he was involved in alleged domestic violence. The Dodgers had a trade for Chapman in place earlier this month, but pulled out when the team learned the details of the choking incident. (As usual, the girlfriend refused to press charges, and is gambling that she’ll end up rich rather than dead.) Most believe that Major League Baseball will suspend Chapman for up to 40 games under its new domestic violence policies.
Hey, but after that little hiccup, Yankee fans, the Pinstripes will have three beasts in the bullpen to close out games, with the three highest strikeout percentages in all of baseball from 2014-15 in Chapman (46.3 percent), Andrew Miller (41.6 percent) and Dellin Betances (39.5 percent)! What’s a little girlfriend choking when you can get talent like that? Continue reading