First and foremost, I feel I need to come out and say this right at the beginning. I absolutely, 100%, in no way condone what Aroldis Chapman did to his girlfriend. I’m sure most of you know this, but he was suspended for 30 games at the beginning of the year for a domestic violence dispute in which he reportedly choked, hit, and pointed his gun at his girlfriend before firing the gun into the wall. I am of the opinion that Aroldis Chapman is an absolute GARBAGE human being, and there is very little he can do to redeem himself for what he did, especially since when he “apologized”, he showed little to no remorse. I understand completely if you hate him, if you don’t root for him, and if you have conflicted feelings about rooting for this team now. I, however, will continue to cheer for the Cubs, because it is the one constant in my life. There is almost nothing that can be done to make me stop rooting for them. I do, however, ask one thing of the Cubs fans truly upset about this trade. Don’t boo him when he comes into the game. You don’t have to cheer, but please don’t boo.
Now, on to the baseball side of things.
Aroldis Chapman is a fantastic baseball player, and this trade makes sense. It gives the Cubs another weapon to shore up the bullpen, and this weapon is more like a nuclear bomb. His fastball can touch 105, and he is probably the best closer in the game. There are very few people who can hit off him, and it is almost a sure thing when he comes into the game with a lead in the 9th. He only has 6 blown saves in the last 3 years out of 95 save opportunities. He is a true lock down closer.
The cons, however, are understandable. First, he is only under contract for the rest of this season, and it will take a great deal of money to keep him in Chicago, something a lot of other teams will be throwing money his way to prevent. Also, the cost it took to acquire him was very high. It took the Cubs #1 overall prospect, Gleyber Torres, a star short stop in the making, recently acquired, and even more recently sent down to Iowa, pitcher (former Yankee) Adam Warren. It also took AA outfield prospect Billy McKinney, whom some are under the impression that he is a sure-thing prospect. He was a top 5 prospect, even this year, he was received as part of the trade with the A’s that brought Addison Russell over. He has, however, struggled in his time at AA this season, slashing just .252/.355/.322, which is certainly less than great.The last piece is little-known outfield prospect Rashad Crawford. Crawford is a 22-year-old 2012 draft pick, he is still playing in A ball, where he is a center fielder.
The only really big piece the Cubs lost was Gleyber Torres. This guy could be a star. The problem is, he plays the same position as young all-star Addison Russell and young stud Javier Baez. It is a sort of log jam up the middle, and with middle infielder Ian Happ developing in the minors, it’s even more crowded. Torres is exactly the type of player I would have expected Theo to trade. It just makes sense, much like the Vogelbach trade, that Gleyber would be moved.The Cubs are no longer stocking for the future. They are in win now mode. It was a lot to give up, but there aren’t any other arms out there like the one that got in Chapman.
Again, this guy is a dirtbag and you don’t have to root for him. It will, however, be great to have an arm like this in the bullpen. Another fun fact for you, the Cardinals haven’t scored a run off Chapman in 25 appearances, dating back to 2011. This could be huge as the lead keeps getting tighter and tighter down the stretch. There is no forgiving what he did, but let’s cool it with the pitchforks and torches until we see what Theo has to say about it.