The New York Yankees are getting closer to trading reliever Aroldis Chapman, with the Washington Nationals looking like the favorites to land the hard throwing closer. The Cleveland Indians, Chicago Cubs and San Francisco Giants are also interested, but trailing in the race.
The Cubs are actually more interested in Andrew Miller, but that’s not going to happen, and it seems like the Yankees are pleased with what Washington are offering them, but have asked the other “contenders” for Chapman to submit improved offers. It seems the Yankees are interested in the Nationals right hander Joe Ross, who has been out for a number of weeks due to a shoulder injury. The 23 year old made his major league debut last season. Since then he’s thrown 172 innings, posting a 3.56 ERA, 1.192 WHIP, striking out 7.7 batters per nine innings while striking out 3.15 per walk.
The Nationals aren’t high on trading Ross. The Giants, Indians and Cubs, all leading their divisions, aren’t happy parting with prospects for a possible one year rental. The Yankees aren’t even agreed amongst themselves about trading him. Some in the Yankees organization see themselves as a team that never quits on a playoff run, but being realistic, they’re 4th in their division, 7.5 games behind the leaders, while also 4.5 games behind in the Wild Card standings.
Chapman, 28, was suspended for 40 games at the beginning of the season for the domestic violence chargers, later dropped. He has a 2.01 ERA through 31 appearances (31.1 innings), posting a 0.894 WHIP while striking out 12.1 batters per nine innings, with a career best 5.50 strikeout per walk ratio. He’s regularly throwing firebombs over 100 mph, and it might not be that surprising the Yankees would like to keep him for more than just this season. He’ll obviously cost them more than the $11.3 million he’s making this season, but they have a shot at a strong bullpen group for the next few years by holding on to him, while also controlling Miller and Dellin Betances for a few more years. Right now, it’s more likely he ends up on a better team to compete for a World Series before hitting free agency.