The New York Yankees have acquired closer Aroldis Chapman from the Cincinnati Reds for pitchers Caleb Cotham and Rookie Davis and minor league infielders Eric Jagelo and Tony Renda.
Earlier this month, it appeared that Chapman would be traveling west and joining the Los Angeles Dodgers. But the trade was held up after revelations of a domestic incident in Miami back in October. Chapman is alleged to have physically attacked his girlfriend and discharged a gun multiple times. However, Chapman was neither arrested nor charged. What concerned the Dodgers (and the Red Sox before them) was evidently of no concern to the Bronx Bombers. It remains to be seen if MLB will discpline Chapman.
In any event, the Yankees appear to be emulating the Kansas City Royals bullpen of the past two seasons. The new Yankee triumvirate of Chapman, Andrew Miller and Dellin Bettances will be the equivalent of Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis & Greg Holland (Ryan Madson was put into the mix when Holland got hurt towards the end of last season). Presumably, it would be a six inning game for Yankee starting pitching with Betances would taking the mound in the seventh, Miller toeing the rubber in the eighth and Chapman closing it out in the ninth.
The question is can the Yankee starting rotation give them six innings night after night? Can Masahiro Tanaka, C.C. Sabathia, Michael Pineda, Nathan Eovaldi and Luis Severino hold up their end? Equally important, the Yankees offense isn’t the same as the Royals. While the Royals got hit after hit and stole base after base, the Yankees are overly reliant on power. They are also overly reliant on players over 35. How long can Mark Teixeira, A-Rod and Carlos Beltran be expected to carry the load?
The Yankees do have a better bullpen. It remains to be seen if they have the team necessary to get them to the seventh inning.