Ever since the New York Yankees acquired Aroldis Chapman there has been speculation that the Yankees might flip him. The cost to get him was low, taking Eric Jagielo, Tony Renda, Rookie Davis, and Caleb Cotham to get him. Yesterday, the Yankees pulled the trigger and sent Chapman to the Chicago Cubs in a deal that revamps the Yankees’ farm system.
The Cubs sent over their top prospect, Gleybar Torres, along with their fifth best according to MLB.com, Billy McKinney, Adam Warren, and Rashad Crawford. Torres was immediately crowned the Yankees’ top prospect by MLB.com and McKinney took over the Yankees’ fifth spot. That is a lot of talent to add to a farm system that was already ranked 17th overall according to MiLB.com.
Torres is a star in the making and he could be a middle infielder the Yankees build around for years to come. Obviously, the Yankees have Didi Gregorius at the Big League level and already had their top prospect Jorge Mateo who is a shortstop. However, Torres should hit enough, and generate 20 home-run power, to make him a viable option at third or second if the Yankees choose to go that route. The general consensus is that if a player can handle shortstop he can handle any position except catcher. While that isn’t always the case it does hold some weight and the Yankees can move Torres anywhere and he should hit enough to make that viable. They could also do the same for Mateo.
There is never such a thing as too much talent at a position in the minor leagues. Acquire the talent and it will sort itself out through trades, injuries, and prospects not panning out. If the Yankees’ top prospects all pan out they would have the best problem a general manager could wish to have.
In McKinney they receive a player who has hit everywhere he has played. He suffered a hairline fracture in his knee last August and seems to still be recovering from that. He hasn’t hit much this year, slashing just .252/.355/.322 with one home run, three triples and 12 doubles this season. A down year is okay. He is still just 21, coming off of injury and is three years younger than the average Southern League player. He does have a quick left-handed swing and can hit to all fields. He might not be a home run hitter but he will certainly hit plenty of doubles and could turn the right field wall into a favorite target at Yankee Stadium. The only real knock on McKinney is his arm strength which leaves something to be desired.
GM Brian Cashman needed to add depth to the minor leagues and he did just that. Even Rashad Crawford has a lot of upside and some consider him a five-tool guy who needs to continue learning the game and developing but he could be a factor down the line. The Yankees’ farm system is now loaded with talent from the upper levels all the way down to its lowest levels. There is a lot to get excited about as a Yankees’ fan. Even if the Yankees were in first place they should have made this deal. Cashman has gotten a ton of talent and it didn’t cost him much at all and with Warren coming back the Yankees essentially got Starlin Castro from the Cubs for Brendan Ryan. Not too shabby.
This move by Cashman should be a reminder to Hal Steinbrenner, Randy Levine, and spoiled Yankees’ fans that Cashman knows what he is doing and that he should be given a freehand to rebuild this roster. The Chapman trade should be a start but it might be the last piece the Yankees “sell” off which would be a mistake at this juncture.