Aroldis Chapman will likely be in a different uniform come August 1, but the New York Yankees have to look at the positives of keeping him long-term.
Sure, Aroldis Chapman is part of a New York Yankees ‘selling’ plan which has gained traction over a challenging home stand. Contenders in need of a top-tier relief arm — particularly a closer — will certainly overpay for his services.
Simply put, the Cuban flamethrower is dynamic. His ability to consistently clear 100 mph on the gun with frequent looks at 102 and 103, respectively, draws major attention to his name without any further thought.
With a 95-percent success rate in save opportunities, his image as a true closer is only bolstered. The 28-year-old — who possesses a 2.18 career ERA with 586 strikeouts in 346.1 innings — has truly become a ‘prized possession’.
Yes, his trade value is at an all-time high. Yes, the Yankees should seek as much stellar youth as possible at the trade deadline.
However, that does not necessarily mean they have to trade every single one of their assets.
With an undeniable chance of Chapman resigning in the offseason anyway, the Yanks should execute their consideration of throwing a contract extension in his direction while actively pursuing a major overhaul for Andrew Miller.
Let’s face the fact that Miller is a more effective and versatile back-end arm than his fellow southpaw. Moreover, small-market teams may throw New York their future considering Miller is under team control through 2019.
At a bargain price of $9-million per year, virtually any team throughout baseball can acquire the services of arguably the best closer in the league — when closing — for two and a half years.
In addition, the Yanks can obtain more than one upper-end prospect or big-league-proven commodity while holding onto another exceptional arm in Chapman.
Why should a front office currently trying to stabilize the future of a luxurious franchise roll the dice on dealing a guy who may, or may not, bring back desired talent?
Furthermore, trading Chapman may get complicated. With the unknown nature of his impending free agency, contending teams will want to ensure they are gaining his stature for years to come. After all, they will be giving up potential cornerstones of their respective franchises.
With that aspect comes confusion, a lack of uniformity, and ultimately little to no cohesiveness between the two sides.
Miller, 31, provides the ‘knowing’ factor rather than sheer incertitude. Not only will a partnering organizations know what they will receive night in and night out, but they will know it will be over an extended time period.
Courtesy of last night’s performance, the Yanks know what they will encounter with the man wearing number 54 down the road — a guy who will draw ratings and engagement as he wins games in the process.
— MLB (@MLB) July 19, 2016
A contract extension may be the last potential move anyone would fathom, but one enticing offer for Miller may get the ball rolling.
Chapman said a trade wouldn't impede his return as a free agent. "If I am traded, I would love to come back and be part of the team again."
— Mark Feinsand (@FeinsandNYDN) July 19, 2016
The Yankees know what they have, they know what they can get, and now they know what they need to give. Standing pat with the ‘Cuban Missile’ while rebuilding in other areas may very well be a win-win down the road.
It will be the guy topping out at 105 who is standing on the mound when the Bombers hoist the pennant in 2019.