Yesterday the Yankees acquired four time all-star reliever Aroldis Chapman to their bullpen. The Yanks added a dangerous arm to their bullpen for little to no cost but they also added his baggage.
Chapman threw the fastest recorded pitch in MLB history at a blistering 106 MPH. This deadly fastball coupled with his diving into the dirt slider and his below average changeup make him a ridiculous threat. Aroldis Chapman has been facing a domestic violence charge that caused a deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers to fall through. The Yankees gave up four minor leaguers in return for the all-star but really only two worth mentioning. The Reds gained former 1st round pick third-basemen Eric Jagielo who has been lackluster at best in the minors. Also Cincinnati gained 22 year old right-handed pitcher Rookie Davis who doesn’t seem to be blossoming any time soon.
This deal makes the deal that the Red Sox made earlier in the offseason for Craig Kimbrel look really bad. The Sox gave a lot up for their bullpen anchor, granted they were prospects that the Red Sox could afford to lose, in a sense, but what I’m trying to get to is that the Yankees got a steal on this trade. Bottomline, the Reds were desperate to rid themselves of the bad PR caused by Aroldis Chapman. Since Chapman could get suspended the Yankees took a risk but this trade was low risk and high reward for the Bronx Bombers.
The Yankees bullpen legitimately gives me nightmares. Dellin Betances, Andrew Miller, and Aroldis Chapman are probably all in the top ten for relief pitchers in the entire MLB. But these three pitchers live off of the strikeout, all three the top three pitchers for K%, also only three relief pitchers had over 100 strikeouts last season…. Betances, Chapman and Miller were those three. The Yankees bullpen takes an immense amount of stress off of the already average Yankees starting pitching. Expect Michael Pineda to have a Cy Young caliber year (bold prediction).
The Yankees realistically need to take a lead into the 5th or 6th inning and their bullpen can take over the rest of the game in order to give them the win. The Yankees and the Royals now have the top two bullpens in the league. Personally, talent-wise I think the Yankees have the better bullpen. BUT with that being said I would rather have the Kansas City bullpen. KC has a strong and deep bullpen with Greg Holland, Wade Davis, Kelvin Herrera, Joakim Soria, and Dan Duffy. The Royals can play matchups and keep their bullpen more well-rested than the bullpen in New York. The Yankees are a true force in the AL and could very well meet Kansas City in the ALCS in a Battle of the Bullpens, if that happens expect KC to gain the edge.