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Thursday, July 28, 2016

Aroldis Chapman: a somebody, traded for nobodies.

Calling people nobodies is not nice but in this context it makes an important point.

Never trade a somebody for a bunch of nobodies. Saturday, August 1, 2015

I learned that from: Rickey Henderson

Born: December 25, 1958 in Chicago, IL
Inducted into the Hall of Fame by BBWAA as Player in 2009 (511/539 ballots).

The very next season Henderson was voted American League (AL) MVP...

Traded for nobodies by teams that quit: Price, Cespedes, Cueto, Hamels, Kazmir. Saturday, August 1, 2015 3:37 PM

Here are two conflicting views about the Chapman trade.

The Recent History of High-Profile Reliever Acquisitions
by August Fagerstrom - July 26, 2016 fangraphs.com

The Chicago Cubs paid one hell of a price to acquire Aroldis Chapman yesterday. Maybe the highest we’ve ever seen for a reliever; certainly the highest for a half-season rental.

Brian Cashman strikes out on Gleyber Torres in 2013, then trades Aroldis Chapman to make up for that failure. Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Cashman said the Yankees coveted Gleyber Torres three years ago, calling him the premier international free agent at the time. Cashman added that he was “disappointed we swung and missed; he was definitely a target for us.”

Say what? Cashman probably threw that in to make his trading of Chapman for one major league pitcher and three prospects sound more plausible. But it raises the obvious question of why Cashman failed to sign the international free agent in 2013 and let the Cubs outbid the Yankees by offering $1.7 million. The Yankees couldn't afford that or was Cashman too inept yet again? Either way, it's another failure by Cashman.

Had Cashman already signed Torres, then he could have traded Chapman for other "assets", the current word for those, like Micheal Kay, trying to sound like they know stuff the rest of us don't.

Last night I watched Chapman's first appearance for the Cubs. It was in Wrigley Field Chicago where Chapman had pitched 20 innings in 19 games for the Cincinnati Reds. Even though they had already seen Chapman, he was now one of their own and Cubs fans went wild, reveling in the many fastballs thrown at speeds over 100 miles per hour.

The Aroldis Chapman trade bothers me on multiple levels.

1. It weakens the Yankees now with more than one third of the season remaining and the Yankees in the loss column only four games out of a wild card tournament spot.
2. It draws us into the nonsense of handicapping actual and potential player movements, which should not be allowed during the season.
3. Trades during the season undermine the integrity of the game more than anything other than players intentionally losing.
4. Chapman is a somebody who was traded for multiple nobodies.

The Yankees reacquired Adam Warren:
The other three players they received for Chapman are prospects. Most of us never heard of these prospects but now we are supposed to be orgasmic over their acquisition. Why? Because, maybe, at least one of them will one day play for the Yankees and even become a substantial major league player. None is expected to do that this season and probably not next season but maybe some day.

What? What the heck kind of logic is that? And prevalent for any of these types of trades, is a team swapping an established major league player for multiple potential players.

In Chapman's case, he was traded for four players, which suggests that each is much less valuable. Yet collectively, they supposedly represent increased value to the receiving team. And even that is likely to be in the future, not this season.

Part of the dynamic is that the team trading the veteran is committed to pay that veteran more than he is worth to them now. Or they made a mistake and valued him too highly, possibly when he was a prospect, and signed him for too many years and/or for too much money per year. Or the player will become a free agent and is unlikely to re-sign or the team does not want to pay what he could receive as a free agent.

The Cubs will have Chapman for only the final one third of the season, after which Chapman becomes a free agent. If the Cubs make a qualifying offer to Chapman then and he signs with another team, the Cubs would receive a draft pick from that team.

One final point that may have entered into this even for the Yankees: salary owed for the remainder of 2016:

Chapman: $11,325,000 divided by three equals about $3,775,000
Warren: $1,700,000 divided by three equals about $566,667. Money the Yankees will pay to the prospects offsets the money that would have been paid to the minor league players they replace.

That's $3,775,000 minus $566,667: a net savings for the Yankee of about $3,208,333, about $3.2 million. Hey, you never know.

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