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Tuesday, December 29, 2015

FANTASY BASEBALL TRADE FALLOUT: AROLDIS CHAPMAN DISPLACES ANDREW MILLER AS YANKS CLOSER

For the second time this winter, consensus number 1 closer Aroldis Chapman found himself the highlight of a trade.  First Chapman was headed to the Los Angeles Dodgers to serve as the new closer over Kenley Jansen.  The deal was scuttled though when reports surfaced of a domestic dispute Chapman was involved in with his wife where he supposedly fired a gun.  Flash forward a month later and the New York Yankees took advantage of the depressed market for Chapman and acquired him on Monday to server as their new fireballing closer in front of Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances to give the team the most potent 7-8-9 trio in MLB history.  With the ink still fresh on the deal, let's dig in and find out how it impacts 2016 fantasy baseball.   Let's get to it.

Aroldis Chapman:  Obviously the biggest fish in the deal is Chapman who is the slam dunk number 1 closer in all of fantasy baseball and who has redefined domiance in terms of the strikeout.  Ever since Chapman arrived from Cuba, his 100-plus mph fastball and subsequent K rates have left mouths agape.  Since debuting in 2012, Chapman has never had a K rate lower than 12.00 which that alone is a monstrous number.  However Chapman has even taken that number to another level the last four seasons as he has recorded the following K rates:

2012:  15.32
2013:  15.83
2014:  17.67
2015:  15.74

Those are purely insane strikeout rates and the totals that go with him as it makes Chapman virtually unhittable.  His career ERA shows there as well with a tiny 2.17 mark and 1.01 WHIP.  The bottom line now is that Chapman moves into the closer role for the Yankees where he should once again be the top stopper in the game and in turn find himself as a fourth or fifth round pick in drafts.

Andrew Miller:  With Chapman coming over to the Yankees, incumbent stopper Andrew Miller gets unfairly displaces from the ninth inning and thus loses almost all of his fantasy baseball value.  Unless Miller gets moved before the season begins into a closing spot around the league, his value is destroyed despite a truly dominant 2015 campaign closing games for the Yankees when he registered a 2.04 ERA and struck out 100 batters in only 61.2 innings.  Tough trade for Miller to accept but he can be safely taken out of most cheat sheets for the 2016 season. 

J.J. Hoover:  With Aroldis Chapman having been traded to the New York Yankees, there is an opening at closer for the Reds for the 2016 season. On the surface, youngster J.J. Hoover seems to be the most likely candidate to fill the spot based on his hard-throwing repertoire.  The former 2008 10th round pick has had three very good years out of four in the majors and that includes 2015 when he pitched to a 2.94 ERA and 1.17 WHIP while striking out 52 batters in 64.1 innings.  The K rate checks out as Hoover has struck out 225 batters in 223.2 career innings and he likely has earned the first look unless the team brings in a veteran.  Add Hoover to your cheat sheets as a result of the trade. 

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