Tuesday, December 29, 2015

On the Aroldis Chapman trade

Aroldis Chapman struck out 116 batters in 66.1 innings
in 2015 for the Reds. He'll pitch -- if he's not suspended
-- for the Yankees in 2016.
Aroldis Chapman's fastball is the stuff of legend. Example: Last season the Cuban lefty fired 452 pitches clocked at 100 mph or more; the next highest was Kelvin Herrera of the Kansas City Royals with 143.

Even in an era of big radar gun numbers, Chapman's velocity is astounding. Nobody brings the heat like Chapman,

On Monday the rebuilding Cincinnati Reds traded Chapman to the New York Yankees for four comparatively unimpressive minor leaguers: right-handers Caleb Cotham and Rookie Davis and infielders Eric Jagielo and Tony Renda. None were considered to be among the Yankees' top prospects, although Jagielo did make the Eastern League (Double A) all-star team last year.

The reason, of course, is the domestic violence investigation(s) involving Chapman from an Oct. 30 incident in Davie, Florida, in which it is established he fired eight shots into a garage wall. It's not the first eyebrow-raising incident involving Chapman and a woman; in 2012 a stripper was found bound in Chapman's Pittsburgh hotel room while Chapman was at the stadium. She was charged with filing a false police report; I have no idea how that all was resolved. 

Chapman may or may not be charged in the Florida incident. He may or may not be suspended by MLB under its new domestic abuse policy. I don't really care. I won't criticize the Twins for not pursuing a rare talent who fires a gun during an argument. There's enough smoke around Chapman's fire to decide to avoid him.

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