[SEE UPDATES BELOW. This thing is moving along.]

When the Myrtle Beach Pelicans dropped their lineup tonight, there was nothing upon which to remark.

But when they revised their lineup an hour later, and shortstop prospect Gleyber Torres was no longer in it, people started remarking. After all, this time of year, when a top prospect is scratched, you naturally wonder if it could involve trade talks. To be sure, sometimes players are scratched and nothing happens – it’s pre-emptive in that way – but that doesn’t mean it’s not related to ongoing talks.



Given reports that the Yankees could be close to moving closer Aroldis Chapman earlier today, and another report that had the Cubs “pushing hard” to get him, the connections here were easy to make. But the first report that publicly connected the two things just went out:

We’ll keep tracking. The short version there is that, to me, in terms of a pure baseball move, it makes plenty of sense. I trust this front office and the development staff to know their prospects extremely well, and if they see it appropriate to move Torres for an impact reliever, I would bless it.

But it’s not purely a baseball move, as Chapman comes with some off-field baggage. We can get into that part more later, if it becomes necessary.



UPDATE: Essentially, everything out there agrees that Torres was scratched in relation to trade talks. But there is some modestly conflicting information out there on whether it is exclusively in relation to a Chapman deal, or if there are other talks going on with other teams. For example:

UPDATE 2: Heyman has said this as well:

Depending on the secondary piece, and depending on the Cubs’ internal evaluations of Torres’s future, I can see the merit – yes, even for a rental – of this deal from a baseball perspective. Chapman is among the most impactful relievers in baseball, and, for a playoff-contending team, it’s my opinion that impact relievers have disproportionate value to the relatively few innings they pitch (knowing you essentially can count on an inning in every other game being a “0” is enormous).

On the non-baseball side of this, however, I would need a lot of time to process, and I very much hope we would hear some candid, thoughtful, and earnest discussion from the front office and Chapman, himself. But we’ll get there when we get there. Some reading in the interim, three articles linked on the off-season incident and fallout:



UPDATE 3: In case you needed more confirmation that the talks, at a minimum, are very real:

UPDATE 4: Patrick Mooney adds what he’s heard (CSN), with a source telling him the teams are in the “final stages” of a deal that would involve Chapman and Torres.

UPDATE 5: Jeff Passan says that Torres and more from the Cubs is agreed upon:

Not done yet would seem to suggest (1) the other piece(s) coming from the Cubs are not finalized, (2) any return piece(s) from the Yankees in addition to Chapman are not finalized, and/or (3) an extension for Chapman is being worked on. That last one is the case, according to BP/Vice’s Rian Watt.

UPDATE 6: Sahadev Sharma dings number two as a possible hold-up, and suggests number one is out of the way, too:

UPDATE 7: George A. King III suggests that Jeimer Candelario and Adam Warren could be other pieces going to the Yankees, though he doesn’t say that they definitely are. And, good gravy – when I was thinking Torres+, I’ve gotta say I didn’t have a prospect of Candelario’s caliber in mind as the add-on, and I also don’t want anyone to lose sight of the fact that Warren still has value (even if he’s struggled in relief this year). Torres, Candelario, and Warren would be a ton to give up for 2.5 months of Chapman, even as incredibly impactful as he can be. And, again, that is setting aside the non-baseball considerations, which pretty much can’t actually be set aside because they are potentially so significant. The best way I can say that part:

There are scenarios where I can be OK with this trade, from a non-baseball perspective. But, given the reports about the December incident – deeply disturbing reports – my default setting is that I have an issue with the Cubs adding Chapman to this team. I am open to being further informed, and I think we all should be. But I also think it’s fair for fans to expect the Cubs to be willing to openly discuss the domestic violence incident, and the implications of adding a player with that history to the team. I am not prepared to sit in judgment right now. I am, however, prepared to demand that there is a conversation.

UPDATE 8: Whew:




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