(Looks around to see if anyone’s listening, then makes sure they absolutely are) Hey, what if the Yankees just straight-up traded Aroldis Chapman!
Think about it. When did you feel most comfortable with the 2021 Yankees bullpen? At the end of the season when Clay Holmes, Michael King and Luis Severino had ascended.
Who did you trust least, at that time? Aroldis Chapman.
Well, alright, fine, technically both Chapman and Chad Green. Perhaps, in his final season of club control, he should be traded, too?
That’s a topic for another article — or, depending on how long this lockout lasts, perhaps three or four more.
The only rub here (and of course there is one)? When the Yankees reconstructed Aroldis Chapman’s contract before 2020, they added a full no-trade provision into that puppy. Full! Previously, Chapman could’ve been traded at the tail end of his deal … but not to “Seattle or the California teams” without his consent.
Now, he has to wave the Yankees forward in the pursuit of any trade for it to be consummated.
Hey, why Seattle and the California teams, huh?
It’s in the Yankees’ best interest to do all the persuading possible to get Chapman up and off the roster entering the final year of his deal. They’ve proven they can persevere without him, and the “Jonathan Loaisiga for Closer” buzz is already getting louder, one full season before he becomes their best in-house option.
Maybe the Yankees should start beating that drum themselves, slide Clay Holmes into the eighth-inning spot, and force Chapman to demand a trade?
Thanks for calling this meeting, Aroldis. We’ve actually already got three new destinations lined up for you. Totally coincidental.
3 trade destinations Yankees should send Aroldis Chapman to
3. Seattle Mariners
The Tradin’ Mariners are on the verge of contention, and are no strangers to making massive bullpen shakeups in pursuit of finding a workable model. After all, in the middle of their Wild Card run last year, they flipped closer Kendall Graveman to the Houston Astros just to mess up team chemistry and turn a profit one last time.
So why not Chapman? His fastball isn’t what it once was, but he was nearly untouchable sitting at 100 in the months of April and May while showing off his new splitter before he hurt his finger mysteriously and the whole thing fell apart.
Spoiled Yankee fans have had enough of the Chapman roller coaster, but there’s still electricity in that arm, and a one-year risk to acquire Chapman with limited capital could well be worth it. There’s not much in Seattle beyond Paul Sewald, coming off his best season ever, and Diego Castillo, an injury risk every time he takes to the mound and heaves his 100 MPH chedd from the left side.
A Castillo-Sewald-Chapman back end actually feels pretty varied and fearsome. Just don’t remind Chappy which road stadium is in this division.
Which reminds us…