It was only a matter of time before the New York Yankees made a move this offseason. We all knew, despite GM Brian Cashman coming out and saying they weren't making any big moves, that it wouldn't be a true offseason without hearing the Yankees name popping up in some blockbuster signing or trade.
The only question was, when and who?
That question was answered on December 28, when the Yankees traded 4 minor leaguers to Cincinnati for All-Star lefty closer, Aroldis Chapman. Giving them, easily, the best back end of the bullpen in baseball with Chapman, Miller and Betances. Behind only newly acquired Red Sox closer, Craig Kimbrel, Chapman was second in the NL in saves over the past 6 years with 126. Chapman has an almost unseeable fastball, at a minuscule 102 MPH, and a devastating slider.
But why might this be a move that bites New York in the butt?
Well for starters, what killed the Yankees in the latter stages of 2015 and in the WC Game was their offense and starting pitching. They just couldn't put runs up on the board, and when they did, their starters couldn't hold the lead. In doing so, the Yankees couldn't get the ball to Miller and Betances with a lead late in the game.
So they added to their pen, but they didn't really solve any problems.
What I expected and still believe is in their best interest is signing Chris Davis. That would solve many problems in their lineup; it would give them a durable first baseman (which they don't have) who would hit north of 40 home runs at Yankee Stadium and can play a pretty solid first base. Obviously they'd have to find somewhere for Mark Texeira to play, which is why you could see him traded or DHing. Chris Davis could also play the outfield, which he did from time to time in Texas and Baltimore.
Another thing the Yankees need to do is add to their rotation. I was really impressed with Luis Severino last season and think he's a future star in this league, but with an aging and inconsistent CC Sabathia and an injury-prone Masahiro Tanaka, the Yanks need to add a pitcher who they're positive can put up 30-32 starts and be effective when they take the rubber every fifth day. That guy is James Shields. Imagine a rotation that goes Tanaka-Shields-Severino-Sabathia and then maybe another lefty at the five. That's nasty and could really give teams fits.
Obviously when you acquire a guy like Chapman, you're doing something right. But when you're problem in the dog days of the season was putting runs on the board or keeping opponents off the board, it's a move that I don't totally understand. But their bullpen is filthy now, and it'll be tough to make any comebacks when trailing after six innings. I'm curious to see how the Yankees play the rest of the offseason and if they make any more big moves.
What do you guys think of this move? Should the Sox respond, or remain as is?
By Jordan Leandre