Cubs acquire Yankees closer Chapman for prospects


The Chicago Cubs have finalised their deal to acquire New York Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman, the teams confirmed on Monday.

The deal sends to the Yankees, among others, top Cubs prospect Gleyber Torres, a shortstop.

Chapman, 28, is a left-hander widely regarded as the best closer in MLB. He is 3-0 with a 2.01 ERA and 20 saves this season, and his arrival in Chicago not only pushes Hector Rondon to a set-up role but also signals a World Series or bust mentality on the North Side.

"I cannot wait to take the mound at Wrigley Field and look forward to helping my team-mates deliver a championship to Chicago," Chapman said via a statement from the Cubs.

Still, his acquisition in a season in which he served a 30-game suspension stemming from a domestic violence incident involving his girlfriend, led Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts to address the issue.

"Obviously, we are aware of the circumstances surrounding Aroldis Chapman's suspension earlier this season," Ricketts said in a statement.  

"We are also aware that he cooperated fully with the league investigation and takes responsibility for his actions ... I shared with him the high expectations we set for our players and staff both on and off the field. Aroldis indicated he is comfortable with meeting those expectations." 

The rumour mill was swirling Sunday with the Cleveland Indians, Washington Nationals and Cubs all looking likely to land the talented reliever as the Yankees offload to pick up young prospects.

Despite trading for Chapman this off-season, the Yankees have decided to cash in on the talented reliever with the 100-mph fastball to get an infield prospect in Torres, who is hitting .275 with a .359 on-base percentage and .791 OPS.

Torres, 19, also has nine home runs and 23 doubles in 94 games with the High-A Myrtle Beach Pelicans.

Pitcher Adam Warren and young outfielders Billy McKinney, 21, and Rashad Crawford, 22, also go to the Yankees.

Warren was part of the deal that brought infielder Starlin Castro to New York in the off-season, shipped to the Cubs along with infielder Brendan Ryan, but faltered with his new team.

News of the trade started to circulate late Sunday when Torres was scratched from his minor-league start.

Chapman is expected to be in Chicago on Tuesday, when the Cubs play the White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field.