Dealing away closer Aroldis Chapman was “an easy call” and “the right call,” GM Brian Cashman told reporters including MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch. The club was able to “trade from an area of strength” and receive quality assets for a short-term piece, he emphasized, saying that “the total package was something that we targeted and strived to get.” The Yankees did explore extension possibilities with Chapman’s camp in early June, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweets. Obviously that did not gain much traction, but the club could still look to bring back the high-powered reliever when he hits the open market this fall, as Cashman acknowledged in his comments. Interestingly, the veteran executive also stressed that parting with its closer didn’t mean that the club was fully abandoning hopes of contention this year, as Joel Sherman of the New York Post writes. With the club still sitting in reasonable position, that could lead to an interesting couple of days in the run-up to August 1st.
Here’s more out of New York and the rest of the American League:
- It remains unclear whether the Yankees will really entertain the idea of trading Andrew Miller now that Chapman is gone, but ESPN.com’s Buster Olney argues (Insider link) that the Indians should force the issue. Cleveland, he suggests, needs to take advantage of its opportunity. While it would be painful to give up its best pre-MLB talent, the club might hope to deal away Miller’s remaining two years of contract control over the winter, hopefully recouping a decent portion of the value it would take to get him right now.
- Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski suggested today that the action is heating up, but that his team isn’t close to striking any major new deals, as Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe reports (Twitter links.) Boston’s chief baseball decisionmaker said that he has fielded five new trade proposals today alone, with other organizations seemingly looking to make off with some of the team’s prime prospect assets. But while ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark cited rivals as suggesting that the Sox were aiming to do “something big,” via Twitter, Dombrowski said that the team doesn’t feel pressure to pull off another move.
- One area that the Red Sox have some obvious room for improvement is the bullpen, particularly with Koji Uehara looking like a major question mark down the stretch and Craig Kimbrel still working his way back. But with Kimbrel seemingly progressing well, Dombrowski suggested that the organization doesn’t feel compelled to add relief help, as Abraham further tweets.
- Meanwhile, though Red Sox righty Clay Buchholz isn’t filling much of a present role, Dombrowski says that he’s still an important part of the team’s rotation depth, as Jen McCaffrey of MassLive.com reports. With Dombrowski also saying he is impressed with the way Buchholz is throwing the ball, it doesn’t seem as if there’s any momentum towards a deal involving the veteran.
- Royals GM Dayton Moore discussed his team’s uncertain deadline stance, as Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star reports. While acknowledging K.C.’s tough spot, and the need to listen to offers, Moore suggested that it’s still possible that the club won’t act as a seller. “We’ll evaluate what a team is potentially offering,” Moore said. “We’re not going to just dismember our team because players are free agents.”
- Of course, the Royals’ best players aren’t set to hit the open market for at least another season after this one, and that seems to have a major role in the team’s approach. As Dodd further tweets, Moore emphasized that the club would keep the 2017 season firmly in mind in any deadline dealing. It’s no surprise, then, that Kansas City suggested to one Wade Davis suitor that the package which landed Chapman wouldn’t have sufficed for the Royals’ closer, as Stark tweets. He comes with an additional season of control, raising both his market value and his function for his current team.