Should Cubѕ Purѕue Eаrly Trаde for Veterаn Cloѕer?

The seven years between when the Chicago Cubs won the World Series in 2016 have been a roller coaster ride for fans and the franchise. 

Fast forward to 2023, the club is sitting with a record of 19-22 and a bullpen that earns a D+ on a good day. Adding someone new might just be the boost they need.

So how about Aroldis Chapman?

Currently with the Kansas City Royals, the 35-year-old is having a better season than in 2022. That year saw him with the New York Yankees and not only was it bad for him, it was weird.

He got an infection from a tattoo (that’s true!) and spent time on the IL. He ALSO failed to show up for a mandatory workout and as a result,  wasn’t on the postseason roster. Add in his stats: 4-4 with a 4.46 ERA, a WHIP of 1.43, and 43 strikeouts over 36 1/3 innings pitched. He’d like to put that season behind him.

There haven’t been any tattoo infections so far with the Royals. He signed a one-year, $3.75 million, and currently, Kansas City sits last in AL Central at 12-31.

Chapman pitched a 1.74 ERA and 0.871 WHIP with just three walks and 19 strikeouts on 10⅓ innings in April. May he’s a little worse for wear: 8.31 ERA, 2.077 WHIP in five appearances.

So is this the kind of guy the Cubs wants?

Short answer: yes. Chapman still is bringing pitches over 100 miles per hour. The Cubs don’t have anyone at present who can do that. Having another lefty in the pen also isn’t the worst idea in the world.

Chicago is desperate for someone who can deliver velocity and it’s shown Chapman’s velocity is returning to his usual triple-digit level. He is also showing signs of his former power pitching levels. Both pluses for the Cubbies.

It would be a return for Chicago for Chapman too: he was part of the 2016 World Series team (after coming from the Yankees).

What would it take to get him?

Kansas City owes less than $3 million to Chapman for the rest of the season. Chicago would have no problem taking that money on and given his age, a prospect or two would be thrown in for the Royals.

The best choice would be to give left-handed prospect Jordan Wick. He’s the number five prospect and he is capable and major-league-ready.

It would bolster the struggling pitching from the Cubs and at less than an arm and a leg, it would be a financial decision that could pay dividends the rest of the season.

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