The Chicago Cubs acquired flame-throwing closer Aroldis Chapman in a deal with the New York Yankees.
In an “all-in” move aimed to help the club win their first World Series in 108 years, Chicago sent pitcher Adam Warren, and minor leaguers Billy McKinney, Gleyber Torres, and Rashad Crawford to New York for Chapman, signed as a free agent by the Yankees before the season. Torres plays as the top prospect in the Cubs organization but at 19 remains several years away from major-league competition.
Chapman owns the best strikeout ratio in the majors and throws the fastest pitch, clocked at 105 miles per hour. But his contract expires at the end of the season and a domestic incident makes him a public-relations problem. He started the season suspended as a result of an October incident.
Chapman issued a statement again offering an apology for his “actions” last year and volunteered that he would address it no more as a Cub. He explained, “I cannot wait to take the mound at Wrigley Field and look forward to helping my teammates deliver a championship to Chicago.”
“I shared with him the high expectations we set for our players and staff both on and off the field,” Cubs owner Tim Ricketts divulged in a statement. “Aroldis indicated he is comfortable with meeting those expectations. My family, this team and Major League Baseball take the issue of domestic violence very seriously and support efforts to reduce domestic violence through education, awareness and intervention.”
At 59-39, the Cubs boast the best record in the majors but own an 8-12 record in July, which likely helped catalyze the move.