The Yankees need to trade Aroldis Chapman. End of story.
Is Aroldis Chapman a good closer? Absolutely. But at $16 million per season the investment is no longer worthwhile because he’s now blown three postseason games for the New York Yankees, two of which have sent the team home. His only dominant showing for the Bombers was his ALDS performance against the Cleveland Indians in 2017. That’s it.
New York has another closer in Zack Britton to get by at the moment, but there’s seriously no longer a need for Chapman. Get his salary off the books, invest the money elsewhere, and get your hands on some more cost-effective bullpen arms. It’s very possible. So many other successful MLB teams out there are able to do it.
Look, we know we’re never going to see another Mariano Rivera again, but we also don’t need a guy who has given up two series-clinching hits for the opposing team the last two years in addition to a huge blown Game 2 in the 2017 ALCS.
So, it’s time. Trade the man and start anew. Here are three teams Yankees general manager Brian Cashman needs to explore deals with for the left-hander this offseason.
*A quick note, however: Chapman has a full no-trade clause after signing his latest deal with the Yankees last offseason. He’ll have to approve any of these trades, so the Yankees simply cannot offload him without his permission. Then again, we’ve seen players with full no-trade clauses get dealt before, especially when the relationship was souring.*
3. Minnesota Twins
The Twins could use Aroldis Chapman and the Yankees can get something solid in return.
Nobody really knows what to expect to get in return for one of the highest-paid closers in the league, but Chapman is arguably the most consistent even though he’s failed to get the job done in big moments for the Yankees. Maybe they’ll have to eat salary, maybe not. It’s a big question mark right now.
Trading him in the AL probably isn’t what Cashman wants to do, but why not make a deal with the most inept postseason team in modern history? The Twins need help in the bullpen and Chapman would undoubtedly improve their prospects in the AL Central, where they’ll need help holding off the high-powered White Sox for years to come.
Minnesota had 10 blown saves in 2020, which was among the worst in the league. Though the Twins’ bullpen had a 3.62 ERA (sixth in MLB), they recorded 12 losses (20th) and allowed a .242 batting average against (19th).
The Twins are projected to have the 21st-ranked payroll in the MLB at $60 million. Perhaps a clean swap of Chapman and his entire salary for a top pitching prospect (Matt Canterino?) and someone else could get this deal done. We don’t know, but that’s worth a shot.