The New York Yankees and Chicago Cubs are discussing a deal that would send left-handed reliever Aroldis Chapman to the Cubs, as Christopher Meola reported today.
Meola reports that the early names being discussed in this deal include Adam Warren and Javier Baez, both of whom would go to New York if the deal is completed.
On the contrary, Sahadev Sharma of The Athletic Chicago denied Meola's report, saying that the Cubs have not "engaged in talks" for Chapman. Julie DiCaro of 670 The Score reports that Chapman's name has come up in trade talks between the two sides.
The 28-year-old Chapman is one of the best relievers in the Major Leagues. Consistently hitting 100 miles per hour (MPH) on his fastball, Chapman has posted a 1.93 ERA in 14 innings this year, saving 11 games in 12 opportunities.
With a 21 to 3 strikeout-to-walk ratio (currently the best of his career), Chapman has a 0.77 FIP and a 2.28 xFIP. He has been worth 0.8 FanGraphs Wins Above Replacement (fWAR).
Chapman was suspended for the first 30 games this season due to violations of Major League Baseball's domestic violence policy.
A trade for Chapman could make sense for the Cubs, who currently rank 18th in the Major Leagues with just 0.4 fWAR from their relievers collectively. Their collective relievers' ERA is one of the better in the league (7th), but FIP (20th) and xFIP (8th) suggest that it may not be sustainable.
Hector Rondon has been the Cubs' closer this year, and he's done an excellent job in the role, pitching to his similarly fantastic 1.40 ERA and 1.89 FIP. He's saved all 11 opportunities. So, if the Cubs do get Chapman, he may not close for them going forward.
Chapman was arbitration eligible for the final time this past offseason, and he settled with the Yankees for $11.325 million. He will be a free agent at the end of the season.
Note: Meola has been correct on many reports in the past, including Kenta Maeda's deal with the Dodgers and Giancarlo Stanton's mega deal with the Marlins.