Chicago Cubs Trade For Aroldis Chapman: Fantasy Fallout

Aroldis Chapman has finally been traded to the Chicago Cubs. What is the fantasy fallout for both the New York Yankees and the Cubs after the deal?

After weeks of speculation the wait is finally over, as the New York Yankees deal Aroldis Chapman to the Chicago Cubs in a five-player deal. Chapman has been his usual dominant self in 2016, and his addition to the backend of the Cubs bullpen, puts them in prime position to make a deep October run. But, what is the fantasy impact of the trade for both teams?

The Chapman deal looks like a rare time where both sides come out as winners. Obviously for the Cubs, netting Chapman fortifies their already solid bullpen, and gives them the swing and miss reliever that can be the difference in the playoffs. Chapman carries a, 20 SV/2.01/ ERA/0.89 WHIP/12.6 SO/9, to Chicago and will immediately slide into the closer role over Hector Rondon.

Rondon has been no slough this season either, 18 SV/1.95 ERA/0.73 WHIP, but has blown four saves this season compared to Chapman’s one. The addition of Chapman, also makes the deal to acquire Mike Montgomery look even better, as the Cubs now have virtually the 6-9 innings set, and can go Montgomery-Pedro Strop-Rondon-Chapman in succession. Pretty good, huh?

From a fantasy perspective, the trade hurts Chapman’s value some, simply because the Cubs are a better team. He missed 30 days of the season with the Yankees, yet still only has one less Save opportunity than Rondon. But, Chicago will make sure he gets his work, so fantasy owners can bank on him being a top-5 RP the rest of the season as his ratios will continue to help squads.  

The Cubs stood their ground in not surrendering Kyle Schwarber in any deal, but they did have to get up substantial talent in order to net some one of Aroldis Chapman’s skillset. The Cubs had to give up their top prospect, Gleyber Torres, their 5th rated prospect, Billy McKinney, Adam Warren, and another OF prospect in, Rashad Crawford.

Torres is the centerpiece of the deal as the 19-year-old has been lauded as one of the top prospects in the game. He has already ascended to high A ball, and has posted a, .275/9 HR/47 RBI/19 SB/.791 OPS line. His defense has graded out well at SS, and if he were to be moved to another position, he would be more than capable. The Yankees are quietly amassing a ton of SS talent their farm system, but Torres automatically becomes the cream of the crop.

Torres projects to be a, .280/15 HR/20 SB, producer once he reaches the big leagues, further bolstering the middle of the Yankees infield for the years to come. The other top prospect in the deal, Billy McKinney, is another toolsy player that can help the Yankees in the OF. The 21-year-old was a first round pick by the Athletics in 2013, and has shown flashes in the minors of the talent he brings to the table.

McKinney has battled an injury and is having a down year in AA this season, .252/1 HR/31 RBI/2 SB/.677 OPS, but there is still has plenty of upside as he is still only 21. He is almost a carbon copy of the type of producer Brett Gardner is for the big league club.

McKinney is rangy in the OF and provides solid defense, he should be around a .260-.270 hitter in the bigs, and has always posted great OBP numbers. Garnder is more of a SB threat and power hitter at this time, but McKinney’s gap to gap approach could flourish at Yankee Stadium.

The Yankees will also be getting back Adam Warren, who was recently demoted by the Cubs. Warren has struggled this season, to the tune of a 5.91 ERA, and the Yankees need to finally figure out what his role is going to be moving forward.

Chapman’s departure opens to door for Warren to step right back into the 7th inning role he had last year, or the team could move one of their starters and allow Warren to get an extended look in the rotation. Warren has the arm talent to help, but the team needs to cement his role.

Rashad Crawford was also added in the deal, and will help the Yankees build their OF minor league depth. The 22-year-old was an 11th round pick in 2012, but has not been able to ascend past A ball in the minors. He did have a solid season in 2015, batting .280 with 20 SB, but took a step back this season, batting only .255.  

Crawford does not look as though he will develop into a power threat, he only has 3 HR this season, but his speed and defense will be his calling card. He could become a bench option or 4th OF in the future, but he will have to get more consistent at the plate first.

There will be a lot of pundits that say that the Cubs paid a high price for Chapman, but that is just nonsense. At the end of the day Theo Epstein is trying to bring a championship to Chicago, and break the 100+ year drought that has plagued the Cubs.

All the down years and persistent struggles, have allowed the team to build the massive prospect depth that they have, which is something every team envies. Chapman makes them more of the World Series favorite than they already were, and getting him today, puts them in the driver’s seat the rest of the way.

For the Yankees it does suck to see Chapman go, but they did it to themselves by treading water all season. They did however, have Chapman fall into their laps this offseason, so by flipping Chapman for two top prospects at the deadline, is does serve as the best case scenario.

Another bright spot is that Chapman has not looked willing to sign an extension mid-season with either team, opening the door to the fact that he could be wearing pinstripes again next season after all. It will interesting to say the least.

In a rare reversal of fate, this trade helps the Cubs prioritize the now and helps the Yankees look toward the future. At the end of the day, the only for sure thing in the deal is Aroldis Chapman, so hopefully the Yankees can continue their recent solid stretch of developing prospects, and continue to rebuild their core once all is said and done.