Monday was not a good day for Reds fans who loved Aroldis Chapman and don’t find the Chicago Cubs particularly enthralling. (We suspect that’s a rather large subset.)
Not only is the fireballing left-hander coming back to the National League, it is to join a loaded divisional opponent the Reds face nearly 20 times per year.
Jon Heyman was first to report a deal had been finalized for the Cubs to acquire Chapman from the Yankees, likely for four players.
To add insult to injury for Reds fans, it appears the Yankees were able to extract a better return for the Cuban fireballer this summer than Cincinnati did last winter.
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The headliner of the Cubs-Yankees deal is Gleyber Torres, a 19-year-old shortstop Baseball America rates Chicago’s No. 1 prospect. Among the other three players is outfielder Billy McKinney, a former first-round pick of the Oakland A’s who was rated Chicago’s seventh-best prospect by BA.
By comparison, the top prospect the Reds acquired from the Yankees was Rookie Davis, a former 14th-round pick Baseball America rated the No. 6 prospect in New York’s organization. None of the other four players — relief pitcher Caleb Cotham and infielders Eric Jagielo and Tony Renda – were among the Yankees’ top 10 prospects when they were traded, although Jagielo is a former first-round pick.
Davis and Renda are having strong seasons at Double-A Pensacola while Jagielo has struggled there. Cotham posted a 7.40 ERA in 23 games for the Reds this season before going on the DL with a shoulder issue.
Of course, it’s only fair point out the two trades occurred in different situations. At the time the Reds were trying to unload Chapman — he was under scrutiny from MLB for an alleged domestic violence episode. Now (after a suspension that stemmed from that incident), he has 20 saves in 21 opportunities for the Yankees this season.
However, even if they were victims of circumstance to a certain extent, the Reds could and likely should have traded Chapman far sooner and been able to expect a better deal for a team looking to acquire Chapman (a pending free agent after this season) for a longer period of time.