MLB rumors: This trade could help Braves buy low on Aroldis Chapman

Atlanta Braves, New York Yankees

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The New York Yankees could be in fire sale territory after another skid has them on the outside looking in at the American League playoff race.

Of course, that could all change within a week if the Yankees play themselves back into Wild Card territory. The status of a buyer or seller is so fragile these days.

The Yankees are in fourth place in the AL East, 8.5 games behind the Boston Red Sox. It’s safe to say they will not finish the 2021 campaign by reaching their ultimate goal. Fans, of course, had higher expectations.

So, what can Brian Cashman do now to salvage a season that has disappointed by every measure? In similar fashion to how the Yankees operated the last time they missed the postseason, it might all start by trading away Aroldis Chapman.

Aroldis Chapman contract

Chapman is due $15 million this season and $18 million in 2022. He’s an expensive catastrophe at the moment.

MLB rumors: Braves could trade for Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman

Chapman has been terrible of late, going from what would’ve been a top trade chip to…well, the Yankees would just like someone to take him off their hands.

So, what would the Braves have to give up in this scenario? Primarily, it would be salary relief. Chapman is due $15 million this year and $18 million next season. That’s a lot of money! The more of it the Braves are willing to pay, the less they’d have to give up for (when he’s right) one of the better and more electric closers in all of baseball.

So, that’s really the trick here. If the Braves are willing to take on all that salary, the biggest prospect they’ll send over to the Bronx is our good friend cash considerations. A top-20 prospect, perhaps a 24-year-old Draysbel Hernandez, who ranked 16th in the Braves system, would be a throw-in.

If the Braves only want to pay half of Chapman’s salary in case this trade backfires, they’ll have to throw in a back-end top-10 prospect. So, let’s say Jasseel De La Cruz, who ranks eighth.

The smart move from New York’s point of view might be to hold onto Chapman in hopes he gets right by the start of the 2022 campaign, as they won’t get full value for him at this juncture. But, should they be inclined to sell him off, this is what they can get for him.

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