According to Ken Rosenthal, the Yankees are ready to start making deals. Kinda:



It always made sense that the Yankees would trade Chapman, at a minimum, being that he’s a free agent at the end of the season, and netting something better than a compensatory draft pick in trade should be a cinch for one of the best relievers in the game.

Whether the Cubs will be involved in the Chapman talks is not something that’s been definitively illuminated either way in recent weeks. There were early rumors about the Cubs’ involvement, but nothing for quite a while. The closest we’ve got to clarity came from Jon Heyman last night, when he listed the Cubs, together with the Nationals, Indians, and Giants as being “seen as the four main teams” for Chapman. For my part, as I discussed yesterday, I’d rather the Cubs focused their efforts elsewhere.

Like, for example, on Andrew Miller. He is not only essentially Chapman’s equal in terms of performance at this point in his career, but he also comes with two more years of control (at a reasonable $9 million per year), and doesn’t have the same clubhouse and off-the-field questions/concerns.

Miller has repeatedly been identified as the Cubs’ number one target this trade season, but, of course, if the Yankees decide they will not move him short of an unthinkable return (it’s been rumored that they will accept Kyle Schwarber and nothing less), then no deal can be had. I get the sense from Rosenthal’s report that this is where the Yankees are right now: if someone wants to blow us away, we’ll deal Miller. Otherwise, we’re perfectly happy to keep him.

And I can’t blame the Yankees for that position, given the years of control on Miller, and the fact that the Yankees want to be competitive in 2017 and 2018, too. Unless they could get a truly impactful near-term piece or two, why would they trade Miller? They aren’t fully rebuilding.

We’ll see how this shakes out over the next week, as it’s not like we haven’t seen teams take this position before, only to change their mind at the deadline (indeed, Buster Olney writes this morning that there’s a chance the Yankees do move Miller by the deadline after they finalize a Chapman deal). But, as has been the case from thing one, the strong bet remains that Miller stays with the Yankees, as much as the Cubs – and their fans – might wish it weren’t so.




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