The rankings of likely landing spot for Aroldis Chapman before the trade deadline keep changing. Right now, the favorites to land him seem to be the Chicago Cubs, offering Gleyber Torres, a shortstop prospect.
The Yankees seem to have finally decided for trading Chapman, which also wasn’t clear until the last 48 hours. With the San Francisco Giants, Cleveland Indians and Washington Nationals also interested, it’s been a matter of the Yankees finding the most impressive package for him. For a while, the Nationals looked like the favorites to land him as the Yankees showed great interest in Joe Ross, but the Nats offered a deal headlined by pitching prospect Erick Fedde.
The Cubs seem to be offering a bigger severance package, with Torres headlining it. He’s been ranked by many as the best prospect in the Cubs system, and one of the 20 best in the United States at the moment, added by the Cubs in 2013 during their big splurge on international talent. One indication that he is indeed not far from being traded is his scratching from the Cubs Chicago’s High-A affiliate, removing him from the game card due to the trade talks.
Torres was signed for a $1.7 million bonus, and is batting .275 with a .791 OPS, hitting nine home runs through 409 plate appearances, playing in 94 games. The MLB.Com scouting reporting gives him good grades in everything but power hitting, although he does seem to be developing in that aspect, maybe capable of becoming a 15-homer guy per season in the majors. The Venezuelan infielder is only 19, and is capable of playing third or second base, which is probably a bit more appealing to the Yankees.
Giving up a prospect like Torres isn’t something the Cubs are too happy with, but they are one of the few teams with enough depth at pitching and hitting to give up on such a player for a potential one-year rental like Chapman and not feel the loss too much. Chapman is one of the best closers in the majors and the hardest throwing of them. He will help the Cubs upgrade what is probably the weakest aspect of their World Series aspirations, maybe shoring up the final hole in their ship.