Yankees Build Laugh-Out-Loud Bullpen With Aroldis Chapman

At best, Aroldis Chapman is unstable. A manageable sort of loose cannon. At worst, he’s violent, a danger not only to himself but to others. There’s a lot to try to handle here — more than we want to have to handle when we’re dealing with baseball players and baseball trades. We don’t want to have to consider this stuff, but here we are, and it can’t be avoided. Aroldis Chapman has been traded to the Yankees, for Rookie Davis, Eric Jagielo, Caleb Cotham, and Tony Renda. Chapman would’ve been a Dodger by now, or maybe a member of the Red Sox, but for an off-field incident involving alleged violence and gunfire. Chapman wasn’t arrested, but he might still be suspended under MLB’s new domestic-violence policy. That part of this story is front and center. Were it not for the incident, Chapman wouldn’t be on the Yankees. Were it not for the incident, Chapman would’ve commanded a higher price.

I can’t tell you how you’re supposed to feel. I can’t tell you what Chapman did or didn’t do. At this point I bet even the parties involved couldn’t tell you exactly what Chapman did or didn’t do, given the memory’s tendency to warp. All that’s known is there was something ugly, and Chapman was in the middle of it, and the details caused some teams to back off. If you love the trade for the Yankees, that’s fine. If you don’t want to root for Chapman anymore, that’s fine. If you feel like it’s getting harder and harder to be a sports fan these days, that’s fine. The more we know our athletes, the more we know them as real people, and real people are complex, where sports are supposed to be simple. This isn’t what a lot of us signed up for.

Your job is to figure out how you feel. And how you want to feel, if it’s different. My job is to tell you about the baseball. I’m not qualified to do the other stuff. And here’s the reality of baseball: no team likes off-the-field concerns, or potential pending suspensions. Every team wants its 25 players to be saints. But character is only part of it, and when the talent level is high enough, teams will overlook everything else. Aroldis Chapman is one of the greatest per-inning pitchers on the planet. Of that there is zero question. There are questions about his character, but teams know this stuff blows over. And beyond that, you could say Chapman’s off-field problems created a market inefficiency. Just ask Brian Cashman:

“Given the circumstances that exist, the price point on the acquisition has been modified,”Cashman said. “We felt this was an opportunity to add a big arm to our bullpen.”

There you go. Sometimes executives are reluctant to share the whole truth. Cashman is more of a straight shooter, and that excerpt tells you everything. Chapman’s got some troubles. Those troubles scared off other teams. And that made it appealing for the Yankees to strike. As far as roster management is concerned, Chapman’s incident is practically a good thing. Value value value. Below, I’m going to write more about baseball. After all, there’s a transaction to analyze, and I have a job to do. Read, or don’t. I’m not here to judge you or anybody. I’m here to judge statistics, and Chapman has some awesome statistics.

No one who reads FanGraphs needs to be told what Chapman has accomplished in Cincinnati. He’s famously been the most overpowering reliever in the game, a man armed with a ligament I damn near want to rip right out of him when he sleeps so I can submit it for inspection. Chapman has been stupid-good, and he’s not even 28, so he ought to remain stupid-good for the short-term future.

Stupid-good, like Andrew Miller. Stupid-good, like Dellin Betances. Some weeks back, when the Dodgers were close to acquiring Chapman, I wrote about what it would look like to combine Chapman and Kenley Jansen. With those two, the Dodgers would have two of the five or so best relievers in baseball. But in my heart, I was disappointed, because I was hoping for insanity. Back then, Chapman was going to Los Angeles, and the Yankees were rumored to be shopping Miller around. I wanted Miller, Chapman, and Betances all in the same place. And now, here we are, for an unprecedented bullpen experiment.

It’s not much of an experiment, I guess, because the results shouldn’t really be in any question. How will they combine? Probably a lot like an elite-level starting pitcher, only somehow even better, and with practically every inning and every plate appearance being higher-leverage. This assumes, of course, the Yankees keep all three, and Chapman isn’t dealt a super-long suspension. But this could be silly. You don’t even need to root for Chapman or the Yankees. You don’t need to be emotionally connected. You can just be someone who appreciates ridiculous numbers. By all indications, those numbers are on the way.

What the Yankees wanted to do was find some cost-controlled starting pitching, because they’ve acknowledged there are a bunch of questions in their starting rotation. But you’ve seen what the starter market has been like. The Yankees didn’t want to mess around with that, despite being the Yankees and everything. So the Yankees have improved their rotation by improving their bullpen, thereby limiting the responsibilities the starters will carry. It’s not like every single inning can be given to one of the Big Three, but they’re going to preserve most leads, and get the most big outs.

How much do the Yankees have to lose? They lose some prospects, but they’re not losing any of their real top prospects. And though the Chapman stuff is bad PR, and the New York press can be rough, how much damage can really conceivably be done to the Yankees brand, because of an off-field incident that didn’t result in an arrest? People are going to pay to see the Yankees. They’re the Yankees. The Yankees went international ages ago. Their brand is almost untouchable. That doesn’t have to be a nice part of reality; it can be just part of reality.

Chapman, Miller, and Betances had three of baseball’s four highest strikeout rates last year. Based on Steamer projections, they’re pegged for three of the five lowest FIPs in 2016. Here’s what’s at the top of our current team bullpen projections on the WAR page:

bullpen-projections

Bullpen projections are hard, and there’s a lot of uncertainty, but there’s no getting around that. The Yankees are projected in first by a massive amount. There have been teams before that have had multiple good relievers. There are teams right now that have multiple good relievers. But as far as I can tell, no team has ever had three relievers like this, at one time. The Orioles love having Zach Britton, Darren O’Day, and Mychal Givens, and they should. The Royals love what they’ve got. The Red Sox love what they’ve got. The Yankees are at the top of the class. They have the on-field value and the name value. They’ll flaunt it. It’s classically Yankees.

I do want to note a few other things. It’s easy to get carried away, because the very notion of this Yankees bullpen is absurd. But while this should look dominant, it shouldn’t look wildly unfamiliar, because just last year the Yankees had Betances, Miller, and Justin Wilson, and they were outstanding. Wilson finished with a WPA of 2.58, while Chapman finished with a WPA of 2.59. Wilson, now, is gone. Chapman’s an upgrade, but not an overhaul. And then there’s this: under Joe Girardi, since 2008, the Yankees rank first in baseball in bullpen WPA, at +56. The Rangers are in second at +36. That’s a 20-win difference in eight seasons, showing that the Yankees have an established history of great relief. This isn’t like if the Tigers put this together. For the Yankees, this is luxury, but they’re accustomed to liking their bullpens.

And just for the hell of it, here’s 30 years of bullpen WPA and bullpen WAR:

bullpenwarwpa

Sometimes there are a few too many bad pitches at the wrong times. It’s possible for a bullpen to be superficially great yet unclutch. Let’s take that 6.6-WAR projection from Steamer. Over the past 30 years, of the teams whose bullpens have finished with a WAR between 6.1 and 7.1, those bullpens have finished with WPAs ranging from +1.8 to +13.9. There’s very little chance the New York bullpen will be bad, but it might not be totally automatic.

To say nothing of any injury risk. There’s always injury risk. It helps that this is a one-year deal, unless Chapman is suspended for so long that the Yankees get another year of control. My guess is that’s unlikely. Chapman, I imagine, will be a free agent next offseason, and he should get a qualifying offer, and then the Yankees would be positioned to get a compensation pick. If he were to leave. Lots of assumptions.

And speaking of compensation picks, there’s the matter of the Reds’ return, here. They’re not walking away with nothing. We can assume the package they would’ve gotten from the Dodgers was superior, but there’s some value here, so it’s not like this is a salary and headache dump. The prospects are led by Jagielo and Davis. Jagielo, to me, feels like the equivalent of a compensation pick. The kind of player the Yankees could pick back up in a year and a half, if things went down that path. Jagielo was taken 26th overall in 2013, and he’s shown real power, but his strikeouts are elevated, and a leg injury has done nothing for his defense at third base, which was already questionable. So Jagielo is bat-first, with injury issues. Davis is a decently hard-throwing righty starter who last year cracked Double-A. He showed good improvement in his command in High-A before getting promoted, and he could have a definite future. Observers have said good things about his curveball, and even if he were bumped to relief, his heater could get to the high-90s.

Cotham is a tweener-prospect because he’s already 28. But he’s a big-league-capable reliever with a fastball and a slider, and this past season he adjusted well to the bullpen. He should throw plenty of innings for the Reds in 2016, and perhaps in the years beyond that. Finally, Renda is a second baseman with six career home runs. He’s more of a bat-control type, but it seems like any future is on the bench. He’s the clear fourth piece, and you can’t expect much from a fourth piece in a trade for a one-year player.

Obviously, the Reds didn’t get what they would’ve liked. They didn’t get what they could’ve gotten were it not for the off-field story. But there was nothing for them to do about that, so they decided to move on and sell Chapman for what they could. With the market diminished, the Yankees moved in, with little to lose and plenty to gain. Again, if it weren’t for the incident, this would set the Yankees up for a wildly entertaining bullpen project, the likes of which we’ve never seen. All that stuff is still true, but our perspective is complicated, and maybe this seems less entertaining than it could’ve. Maybe eventually it comes out that Chapman didn’t try to hurt anybody, but I don’t blame you if you’re something less than jazzed. However you feel is justifiable. However you feel next summer will be justifiable. Don’t feel bad because you think everyone else has it all figured out, because none of us do. We all just try to deal with the news.

Today, there’s big Aroldis Chapman news. The Yankees are responsible for it, because they feel like, in time, it’ll be good for them. They’re probably right. That’s sports.



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Jeff made Lookout Landing a thing, but he does not still write there about the Mariners. He does write here, sometimes about the Mariners, but usually not.


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Cool Lester Smooth
Member
Cool Lester Smooth
5 months 1 day ago

Jesus. This is certainly one way to deal with having only one guy you can reasonably hope to get 7 innings out of on any given night.

Tom Cranker
Member
Tom Cranker
5 months 1 day ago

You said it man

– John Turturro

mtsw
Member
Member
mtsw
5 months 1 day ago

I know this sounds like an insane conspiracy theory but:

Would Chapman getting suspended JUST long enough to give the Yankees an additional full season of team control be any more crazy than when the league conveniently suspended Alex Rodriguez for a full season the same year the Yankees were trying to reset their luxury tax penalty?

I’m not saying this is going to happen, just IF it were to happen, it would not be a coincidence and I doubt Brian Cashman would be surprised.

DCE
Member
DCE
5 months 1 day ago

I don’t believe the Yankees ever actually got under the tax threshold, did they?

ogZayYsj3r7CGsz
Member
ogZayYsj3r7CGsz
5 months 1 day ago

The Yankees tried for several years to get their payroll under the luxury tax threshold to reset the penalties, but were not able to do so. They paid $18.3 million in 2014 the year A-Rod was suspended for having a payroll higher than $189 million. Earlier in December it was announced that the Yankees owed $26 million for the 2015 season as well.

RobM
Member
RobM
5 months 1 day ago

They didn’t, although they were trying, leading to some rather odd decisions, such as signing Ichiro to a two year deal. No doubt they’re about to attempt it again, this time with a better chance since they have a number of big contracts coming off the books and the luxury tax threshold will likely be increased with the next CBA.

RobM
Member
RobM
5 months 1 day ago

MLB is not creating rules just for the Yankees. The other 29 owners would have an issue. That said, I do think Cashman took into account the best and worst-case scenarios. Best? Zero suspension, Yankees get Chapman for the full year. Worst case, he’s suspended for a month or so. Yankees bullpen can easily absorb that. The next best case scenario, and one might argue actually the best case scenario, is Chapman is suspended for a couple months. The Yankees still get him for the last four months, but his free agency is delayed a year, so the Yankees get him for a 1 1/2. I doubt they’re planning on that, but when they assessed the situation they viewed it as a no-lose situation, well, outside of the loose gun they have now employed.

Paul22
Member
Paul22
5 months 1 day ago

It cost them pretty much nothing in terms of prospects so that part was a no brainer. The only question was if Hal would approve spending another 18 million (12 salary and 6 tax) for a guy who pitches 60 innings. Supposedly he did but I think there is a fairly good chance they deal Miller in a package if it can get them a young cost controlled starter.

bothdatkotas
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bothdatkotas
5 months 1 day ago

Looking at the current situation, trying the “Chapman as a starter” experiment again might not be the worst thing in the world.

Mike
Member
Mike
5 months 1 day ago

I’m sure they’d consider it if they had more years of control. Can’t see it being a thought now though with just the 1 year.

RobM
Member
RobM
5 months 1 day ago

Trying Chapman as a starter would not be good. He’s a one year rental. All he would do is add another question mark to their rotation. They trying to address the question marks by lengthening the pen.

Monroe Says
Member
Monroe Says
5 months 22 hours ago

Chapman does not seem to have the concentration required to go multiple innings. He has, in fact, gone on record saying he prefers to close.

Sinnycal
Member
Sinnycal
5 months 19 hours ago

I would try that with Miller before Chapman. I remember hoping the Cubs would try it when Miller was a free agent after having some success with a similar “failed SP -> successful RP -> successful SP” conversion in Samardzija.

francis_soyer
Member
francis_soyer
5 months 1 day ago

Great move. You acquire cheap assets when they are available, even if you are adding to a position you already are strong in. Other ( NY ) teams should wake up to this strategy.

Now if another trade opportunity comes along where a team wants a reliever and is willing to part with a couple of top prospects, the Yankees are the first team that will get a call.

kimo
Member
kimo
5 months 1 day ago

Once again it seems the Reds got less than an adequate return for their assets. I wonder why they felt the need to trade Chapman now. It seems the uncertainty about a suspension may have lowered the price. Why not wait until the commissioner ruled and maybe (just maybe) they would have had a additional year of control over Chapman and a much greater possible market and return.

Paul22
Member
Paul22
5 months 1 day ago

Its unlikely he gets a very long suspension. No video and no prosecution due to lack of physical evidence and contradictory statements by witnessed.

Teams generally don’t make trades in ST and thats probably when the commissioner makes his decision. Obviously, the Reds don’t think it likely they would get another year of team control via suspension or they would have waited until the trade deadline with the suspension already served

Reds are going nowhere next year and spending 12.9 million on a closer is silly. This was a salary dump pure and simple.

Paul22
Member
Paul22
5 months 1 day ago

Given the lack of video and no prosecution due to the lack of physical evidence and contradictory statements by witnesses, its hard to believe any significant suspension is possible, or any suspension at all for that matter.

Chapman is a great RP’er, but was only 1.4 bWAR better than Wilson last year and will cost 12 million more (plus another 6 million in LT).

It also remains to be seen how he or Miller will handle being demoted and used in a non-closer role.

The real benefit here is the Yankees being in a position to reduce Betances workload and keep him strong for the end of the season, but the team has enough concerns among position players and starting pitching that the end of the season may not matter much in what looks to be a tougher division with the rebuilt Red Sox even if the Orioles are a bit weaker.

Bryan
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Bryan
5 months 1 day ago

Although Chapman has been much better over numerous years than Wilson. It remains to be seen how Wilson will do moving forward. We know what we are getting with Chapman.

domxbomb
Member
domxbomb
5 months 1 day ago

“only” 1.4 WAR from a reliever is actually pretty significant. we’ve discussed how it’s probable WAR undervalues relievers and this is backed up by the disproportional compensation elite ones receive from teams. correct me if I’m wrong, but WAR is context neutral, while a high leverage reliever’s job is literally all about the context in which he pitches.

wildcard09
Member
Member
5 months 23 hours ago

Miller was perfectly fine not being a closer before he was in NY. I highly doubt he’ll care much, especially since his payday is behind him.

Bryan
Member
Bryan
5 months 1 day ago

Don’t like him as a person but he is definitely going to make this bullpen the best by eleventy billion percent.

The Stranger
Member
5 months 1 day ago

Funny that it’s the Yankees doing this. The team that makes its free agents get haircuts because of the image they want to project has no problem picking Chapman up on the cheap.

Not that I blame them, I’ve long been in the “don’t think too hard about off-field stuff” camp, and we don’t even know what really happened. But the hypocrisy deserves to be mentioned.

jdbolick
Member
Member
5 months 1 day ago

The hypocrisy not only deserves to be mentioned, the Yankees deserve an avalanche of condemnation for this move. Chapman firing eight gunshots in his garage while his girlfriend was present is something we know really happened, as the police collected physical evidence proving that. I would like to see him banned from baseball for life.

Evan3457
Member
Evan3457
5 months 1 day ago

Banned for life? Lotsa luck winning that appeal.

wildcard09
Member
Member
5 months 23 hours ago

Banned for life? Did Chapman have sex with your wife or something?

jdbolick
Member
Member
5 months 22 hours ago

You might want to take a look in the mirror and ask why you’re comfortable making jokes about an incident where a gun was fired eight times during an alleged commission of domestic violence. Domestic violence is bad enough, but the use of a gun takes the Chapman incident to an entirely different level. Maybe you and the others who downvoted my comment should read up on Jovan Belcher.

The Stranger
Member
5 months 19 hours ago

Agreed that the incident is potentially really bad. But, and I can’t say this enough, we don’t know for sure what happened.

Even if we had video of Chapman hitting his girlfriend and threatening her with a gun, though, I don’t think he should be banned. Honestly, I don’t care if he’s even suspended. I find it ludicrous that MLB and the NFL try to pretend that players are model citizens and suspend them for being otherwise. If they’re not in jail, and the team doesn’t mind the PR hit, let them play. Anything else is bound to be arbitrary and primarily PR-driven.

jdbolick
Member
Member
5 months 19 hours ago

It’s about principle, although I understand that many people these days don’t have any principles and therefore cannot grasp the concept. Playing sports for a living is a privilege, one that you may forfeit if you violate the standards of that sport. It’s not about being model citizens or role models, it’s about not being reprehensible. Frankly that’s not a very high bar to clear. We do know for sure that Chapman fired his gun eight times following a domestic argument. Even if you choose to be blind enough to believe that Chapman didn’t realize the implied threat of such an act, it demonstrates egregiously reckless behavior.

The Stranger
Member
5 months 19 hours ago

The personal attack is uncalled for, thank you.

Here’s the problem with reprehensible conduct -it’s a moving target. Some people find almost any criminal conduct to be reprehensible. Some people only find a subset of crimes to be reprehensible. Some people find Daniel Murphy’s views on homosexuality to be reprehensible. Some people share those views and respect him for stating them. Some people find Josh Hamilton’s drug use to be reprehensible. Some people laud him for being open about his issues. The point is, there’s no clear line that can be drawn, which means that MLB is going to draw it based on public opinion, and probably based on the level of perceived outrage over any given offense. I also doubt that MLB is concerned about due process and the sufficiency of the evidence as much as it’s concerned about being seen as taking a stand. Basically, I can’t think of a principled way for MLB to impose punishment for this type of thing, so I prefer that it stay out of that business. Worry about the game, let the police worry about domestic violence.

I don’t buy the “playing baseball is a privilege” argument. It’s a job, no more no less, and I accept that some people doing that job are horrible people. I also have no problem with condemning them as horrible human beings while they continue to play baseball.

jdbolick
Member
Member
5 months 18 hours ago

The personal attack is uncalled for, thank you.

It was entirely called for. You posted that don’t care whether or not Chapman is suspended “even if we had video of Chapman hitting his girlfriend and threatening her with a gun.” Your assertion that anyone who isn’t in jail should be allowed to play illustrates that you genuinely don’t understand the concept behind principles.

I don’t buy the “playing baseball is a privilege” argument.

Your consent is irrelevant to reality. It is a privilege and one that has been denied to players for a variety of reasons that had nothing to do with their ability to produce on the field. Some of those denials were justified and some were abhorrent (e.g. racism). You’re correct that different people will have different views on what behavior should disqualify someone from participation, yet some sort of disqualification has always existed. In my opinion, intentionally firing a gun in proximity to a woman you just argued with meets that criteria.

The Stranger
Member
5 months 18 hours ago

I admit I don’t share the same principles you seem to. My principles are mostly limited how I conduct myself, which you know nothing about, and not condemning people I’ve never met based on secondhand reports.

Other principles I value include the idea that a system of punishment should include defined offenses, punishments, and quanta of proof, rather than being an ad hoc reaction in which the roles of prosecutor and judge are played by the same person. If MLB was prepared to address those issues, I’d be more inclined to buy into a conduct policy. As it is, I have absolutely zero faith in them to handle this in a way that isn’t 100% PR on their part.

And the fact that baseball players have been banned (or not banned, in the case of horrific racism) in the past doesn’t justify anything.

Joey Butts
Member
Joey Butts
5 months 16 hours ago

Yeah, I’m gonna have to go with The Stranger on this one. MLB is not who we should be depending on for justice. That’s what we have a government for. MLB only has the power to hand down punishments because that is something the MLBPA agreed to. It would be very problematic for MLB to suspend someone who has never been arrested for his alleged offense, because their justification would just be that a lot of people don’t like him.

jdbolick
Member
Member
5 months 13 hours ago

The Stranger, this is what you said:

If they’re not in jail, and the team doesn’t mind the PR hit, let them play. Anything else is bound to be arbitrary and primarily PR-driven.

By definition that is having no standard. So no, it is not an issue of having different principles than I do, it’s a matter of you explicitly stating that there should be no principles involved whatsoever.

jianadaren
Member
jianadaren
5 months 21 hours ago

Your facts are wrong. He was alone when he fired the gun. He may as well have been at the range.

jdbolick
Member
Member
5 months 20 hours ago

He fired the bullets in his garage while his girlfriend was hiding in the bushes nearby. Equating that with firing a weapon at a gun rage is beyond absurd. I have been around guns my entire life and anyone who fires a gun in anger is an extreme danger to the themselves and others. The fact that he did so after an argument with another person who remained in the vicinity is extraordinarily concerning, as it not only demonstrates reckless behavior but also implies a very serious threat.

Joey Butts
Member
Joey Butts
5 months 15 hours ago

So if she had left in her car or just run off, then his actions would seem different to you? Isn’t that absurd? How could he know where she was once he locked himself in the garage? She was basically Schrodinger’s girlfriend at that point.

I agree that he’s dangerous, but you can’t hand down a big suspension because he MIGHT hurt somebody. This ain’t Minority Report. And if we take that road, isn’t he a danger whenever he takes the mound? He throws 104! If he loses control, he could kill somebody!

jdbolick
Member
Member
5 months 13 hours ago

Joey Butts, you can and should hold someone accountable for their actions. Intentionally firing a gun in the immediate aftermath of a domestic incident is something any employer should be concerned about. Honestly I’m mystified that people like you and jianadaren are making such utterly ridiculous comments in defense of Chapman. What he did is not in any way equatable with firing “at the range” or throwing 104. I’m fine with those who disagree about banning Chapman for life because I recognize that would be an extreme stance, yet watching people like you two minimizing what Chapman did is depressing.

scott
Member
scott
5 months 17 hours ago

By saying NYY should be condemned based on principle is implying other teams did not make the move because they operate on a higher moral ground. I think it is naive to think principle, and not poor PR due to domestic abuse being a hot button issue, is reason he is not a Dodger or on any other team. I am sure many teams had a price point where Chapman’s value offsets the PR storm. If Dodgers gave up significantly less for Chapman in the original trade I bet they would have different “principles”. You are basically calling for teams to blacklist an elite MLB eligible player, that is not going to happen.

Doctor Of Utter Clarification
Member
Doctor Of Utter Clarification
4 months 29 days ago

@jdbolick – “the police collected physical evidence proving that”. And you’ve seen this “evidence” of course. How about some questions like: How did the cops distinquish between shots alledgedly fired then as opposed to, say, a week before? Of course, you’re one of those people who always believe the police.

You need to get your facts straight also. You’ve had the woman in the house, garage, and bushes. Which one was it?

This is Fangraphs. Take your views to a skin head website.

Easyenough
Member
Member
Easyenough
5 months 1 day ago

What was the article here the other day? Let the game come to you?

phoenix2042
Member
Member
phoenix2042
5 months 1 day ago

The Yankees have a very good shot at having three relievers break 2 WAR each. How often does that happen?

Antonio Bananas
Member
Member
Antonio Bananas
5 months 1 day ago

2011 Braves had O’Flaherty/Venters/Kimbrel. According to BR they totaled 8.7 combined WAR. Fangraphs rated them lower because Venters and O’Flaherty weren’t high K guys but Venters was throwing a bowling ball sinker at the time so I trust his FIP/ERA differential at the time.

Matt
Member
Matt
5 months 16 hours ago

Venters sinker was maybe the most dominant pitch I have ever watched. It was insane and it worked on lefties and righties

ElJimador
Member
ElJimador
5 months 22 hours ago

My first thought was the 2003 Astros with Lidge, Dotel and Wagner all putting up 85+ innings and 10+ K/9 however even their fWARs were only 1.5 / 1.7 / 2.3. So that’s a really high bar.

Vil
Member
Vil
5 months 1 day ago

Not a “laugh-out-loud” bullpen if you’re a division rival. Even less funny if Chapman’s suspension is long enough to result in his being in their bullpen for two years. This is the greatest bullpen ever assembled, period. Only injury will prevent them from making history.

As for the character issue, people have a short memory when your team is winning. As long as he walks the straight and narrow after he comes back from his suspension and keeps closing out games like he has in his career, IMO nobody will be talking about the incident in August or September.

FoozFan
Member
FoozFan
5 months 1 day ago

You would have done better to leave the BS out of this so-called analysis. If you don’t know about a thing, it’s best not to waste words on it. Stick to the baseball metrics. Leave the social commentary to those better qualified. That would include anyone armed with something more than rumor.

TKDC
Member
Member
TKDC
5 months 1 day ago

So are you a Yankees fan, a domestic abuser, or both?

Seriously, the article mentions this because it is front and center and then moves on. It was done exactly how one should handle writing about a guy who is right now most known and most talked about because of off-field issues. If you don’t mention it a thousand people will say “but you’re not considering the off-the-field stuff!”

Joey Butts
Member
Joey Butts
5 months 16 hours ago

Is there a difference?

Sorry. Couldn’t help myself.

Antonio Bananas
Member
Member
Antonio Bananas
5 months 1 day ago

In terms of fWAR this will be devastating. As a Braves fan, I’m thinking of the 2011 Kimbrel/Venters/O’Flaherty year. They didn’t have these insane k/9 numbers though.

dl80
Member
dl80
5 months 1 day ago

Was John Rocker not available? Maybe they can add Papelbon next.

tz
Member
tz
5 months 1 day ago

Jeff, ripping out a guy’s ligament? Really?

I don’t know what’s worse, that, or a Red Sox fan like me wishing you would actually do it.

Phillies113
Member
Member
5 months 1 day ago

It seems like the Yankees are adopting the Friedman Model. Acquire talented players, who’ve committed terrible acts, for cheap when their team just wants to be rid of a PR headache.

Granted, Chapman is a phenomenal pitcher. But this package from the Yankees has certainly gotta be a lot lighter than what they were about to get from the Dodgers.

exxrox
Member
exxrox
5 months 12 hours ago

This is a failed Anthopolous model. Colby, Yunel, Lawrie – all guys acquired cheaper than expected for off-the-field reasons. Trouble is, it didn’t work and he had to clean house of the “bad apples” before building a winning team.

Owen S
Member
Owen S
5 months 1 day ago

Funny how fandom works.

Before the trade I was telling a friend, who doesn’t follow baseball, about the Chapman incident. I talked about MLB’s recent institution of new domestic violence policies, and that they would now have an opportunity to put their money where their collective mouths are. I wanted him to get suspended–badly. I wanted MLB to make good on their promise to take events like this as seriously as they take steroids, if not more so.

Now that he is on the Yankees, “my” team, I find a suspension to be over-kill. I mean, what evidence do they have really? Yea, he fired some bullets; but unless they ricocheted off the garage into the door connecting the garage to the house, into whatever room his girlfriend was in, into whatever his girlfriend’s name is, she was going to be fine. Yea, he’s probably a jerk, but if a case is not even made against him by the DA, then why should MLB step in?

Anyway, funny how fandom works.

1908
Member
5 months 1 day ago

I have a hard time getting excited about any reliever, even Chapman, but the idea of looking at the top 3 bullpen guys as a unit is intriguing. Here are the Steamer WAR projections for the Yankees top 3:

Miller 1.5
Chapman 1.4
Betances 1.2

That’s a total of 4.1 for those of you keeping score at home. Steamer projects 3 starters to have exactly 4.1 WAR: Archer, Tanaka, and Syndergaard. The three relievers will make a total of $17.5m in 2016, so Cashman is getting roughly 180 IP at a little over $4m per win. Not a bad days work.

Surrealistic Pillow
Member
Surrealistic Pillow
5 months 21 hours ago

You’re off on the total salaries and your overall point does not hold.

Chapman is projected to make $12.9MM in arbitration by MLBTR, Miller makes $9MM, and Betances will make about $500K — so around $22.4MM all in.

Also, any time you lump in a pre-arb eligible player in a small group, your $/win is going to be skewed. There is nothing especially impressive about this situation. Moreover, the other 4.1 WAR pitchers you identified will all make less than 22.4MM in 2016 (Archer will make $2.75MM and Syndergaard will make around $500K).

scott
Member
scott
5 months 23 hours ago

I understand AC is probably not a very good dude, and I understand domestic abuse is a touchy subject, but at the same time I question the rest of MLB not the NYY. The fact that any meaningful suspension results in him having another year of arbitration eliminates any risk from this deal.

Here’s where people say the risk is public relations mess. But what exactly does that mean? That people wave their fingers and say “bad Yankees”? That some press conference may be annoying? Who cares? Why did this stop the rest of baseball from getting a superstar RP for pennies?

I bet many GMs thruought baseball went from “I’m not touching this guy” to “why didn’t we do that”.

Especially a GM of a team trying to win now without spending, this seemed gift wrapped (Mets).

jonvanderlugt
Member
Member
jonvanderlugt
5 months 23 hours ago

Missed opportunity for “LOLpen” pun here

Get with the program, Jeff

Owen S
Member
Owen S
5 months 22 hours ago

Having a much-hated player is not necessarily a bad thing either. I’m sure a lot of A-rod haters tuned in to his at bats in 2015 just to see him fail.

The Yankees are totally fine with that.

sturock
Member
sturock
5 months 21 hours ago

So the Yankees have a great bullpen. Big deal. No games have been played yet. The rest of the team is pretty uninspiring, and if they trade from their closer trinity, they don’t have a ridiculous bullpen anymore, which would have been the strength of the team. They made a savvy trade, but let’s not get carried away here.

carter
Member
carter
5 months 20 hours ago

I am a fan of the whole innocent until proven guilty line of approach to all criminal charges. We were not there, and even after watching Making a Murderer, I still feel as if the judicial process is slightly better then a bunch of people trying to railroad a guy. Plenty of celebrities, and people in general have been accused of something falsely, or had something extremely exaggerated. I am certainly not a Yankees fan either.

jdbolick
Member
Member
5 months 19 hours ago

Where “he said / she said” is concerned, there is a lot of uncertainty. What makes this situation completely different is that there’s no disputing that Chapman fired his gun eight times. The absolute best case scenario is that he’s such a complete idiot with no training or understanding of the proper usage of firearms that he genuinely thought it was ok to fire a gun in anger to relieve stress, while he was supposedly oblivious to the notion that doing so in the vicinity of someone he recently argued with would be perceived as a threat against them.

Doctor Of Utter Clarification
Member
Doctor Of Utter Clarification
4 months 29 days ago

What is undisputed is that you are a bigot that has some kind of weird issue with Chapman. Hear this loud and clear so you can try to justify your personal attack as you did above: I don’t care what Chapman allegedly did, regardless of whether he shot around or at his girlfriend. It’s none of my business, and it’s certainly none of yours.

frank
Member
Member
frank
4 months 29 days ago

I am not commenting on Bolick’s previous comments here, but I tend to side with him on this one. And the statement by Dr OUC that “I don’t care what Chapman allegedly did, regardless of whether he shot around or at his girlfriend. It’s none of my business, and it’s certainly none of yours” is way over the top. Do you really mean that?

Whatever happened to “No man is an island”?

Doctor Of Utter Clarification
Member
Doctor Of Utter Clarification
4 months 28 days ago

You’re siding with someone who has convicted a person based solely on a police statement. If you see above he also believes it is OK to personally attack someone for expressing reasoned views, based on his warped sense of morality. I think a little hyperbole is appropriate.

In the larger sense, however, Chapman’s and his girlfriend’s relationship isn’t our business. If a crime was committed it will be addressed by the justice system.

The fake outrage by people of jd’s ilk is the most apalling thing. They don’t care about individual abuse victims. If they did they’d be volunteering at shelters. They just want to saber rattle for some cause.

bgburek
Member
bgburek
5 months 15 hours ago

With this kind of bullpen and an average to below average pitching staff, is there any chance the Yankees try using an opener? Maybe use one of these pitchers for the first 1 or 2 innings and then put in a starter?

scott
Member
scott
5 months 38 minutes ago

I think NYY actually have a very good staff, just with a lot of fragility.

drzhang
Member
drzhang
4 months 29 days ago

Petition to officially nickname the Yankees 2016 bullpen, the “LOLpen”

Deduno Abides
Member
Deduno Abides
4 months 29 days ago

The big risks to the Yankees are not related to the length of a possible suspension. As has been seen with other players who misbehaved without facing legal sanctions, the biggest risks come from the player repeating his behavior or making public comments or tweets that bring embarrassment or worse to the team. Also, it sometimes seems that behavior like Chapman’s often is not isolated to his personal life, but can either be an indication or early warning of not being good in the clubhouse.

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