When the Kansas City Royals signed Aroldis Chapman in mid-January, the baseball world immediately began speculating about what destination he'd travel to next once KC had determined his midseason value.
On Friday, one full month ahead of the trade deadline, Chapman was already asked to pack his bags -- and, who are we kidding, they'd been packed since the day he arrived.
Luckily for skittish Yankee fans, Chapman will not be making a return to the AL East. Unfortunately, the Yankees still might have to go through him if they intend on pursuing a deep postseason run.
Chapman will head to the Texas Rangers, a perfect fit on paper, but ... are you buying the left-hander's resurgence? What about in October?
Former Yankees reliever Aroldis Chapman traded from Royals to Texas Rangers
Cole Ragans and Roni Cabrera, huh? That's ... that's it?
Ragans, a 2016 first-rounder, has a 5.92 ERA with the big-league Rangers this season, and will be stashed at Triple-A Omaha. Cabrera, a 17-year-old outfielder, is a wild card bet; he's hitting .315 with a 1.075 in rookie ball.
Chapman's production in Kansas City likely matched the ceiling they'd envisioned in January; 53 strikeouts in 29.1 innings with a 2.45 ERA is close to vintage, especially compared to his numbers in New York last season, pre-tattoo injury (43 Ks in 36.1 innings, 4.46 ERA).
The erratic lefty's WHIP remains at an elevated 1.227, though; back in 2019, when he still felt erratic, he was all the way down at 1.105. Just ... didn't allow many hits back then.
Chapman also began the season with eight consecutive scoreless outings, carrying a 0.00 ERA through April 24. Since then? Eight earned runs allowed in 21.1 innings. If you have confidence the Rangers' season will end any way other than a Chapman smirk amidst disaster, then you have more faith than I.