Former Yankees fan favorite prospect finds new home after NYY denied him chance

And oh, look at that, he went to a smart organization.
New York Yankees Photo Day
New York Yankees Photo Day / New York Yankees/GettyImages

As Andrés Chaparro piled up home runs in 2022, the Yankees never seemed to give him serious consideration for a big-league roster spot. They doubled down on what seemed like an error in judgment last November, leaving Chaparro unprotected from the Rule 5 Draft. All an interested team had to do was bet on his big-league bat, use him at DH (or develop his defense), and keep him on the MLB roster for the full year to avoid a midseason return.

But no team did. Following 19 bombs in 64 games at Double-A Somerset, paired with some of the best exit velocities in the minors, Chaparro went unclaimed. Though he began 2023 mired in a fairly hefty slump, he still rerouted his season and hit 25 additional homers at Triple-A Scranton. It wasn't all peaches; he hit .247 and posted a .775 OPS. Still, a team in need of right-handed power seemed just as likely to take a chance on him this winter as they were last time around.

The Yankees made that decision easier by allowing Chaparro to walk in minor-league free agency a few weeks back, silently announced on the transaction wire.

Though the NL Champion Arizona Diamondbacks made a high-profile move to fill their third base vacancy on Wednesday, trading for Eugenio Suarez in a Mariners salary dump, they decided midday that they weren't done taking swings at the position. Chaparro, who profiles quite similar to Suarez offensively, can now learn from the established big-league vet after signing, too.

Yankees lose prospect Andrés Chaparro to Diamondbacks

Chaparro remains somewhat position-less, moving forward, and the Yankees certainly didn't believe he could hold down the third base spot in the Bronx (or beat out Josh Donaldson). His handedness likely came into play, too. If the whole package was somewhat iffy, then why try to shoehorn yet another righty into the Yankees' everyday lineup?

New York's braintrust had their reasons for letting Chaparro languish in the minors and never placing him on their 40-man roster, barely giving him a shot to earn elevation. Now, it's the Diamondbacks who will learn whether the Yankees were right or wrong to operate in that manner.

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