Saturday, February 17, 2018
Sports

Cubs add some lefty heat to bullpen

The Cubs made their boldest move of the Theo Epstein regime by acquiring power-throwing closer Aroldis Chapman from the Yankees on Monday.

Chapman, 28, gives the Cubs the formidable left-handed late-inning specialist they've sought in their efforts to win their first World Series title since 1908.

The trade cost the Cubs prized SS prospect Gleyber Torres, RHP Adam Warren, top OF prospect Billy McKinney and minor-league OF Rashad Crawford.

But the Cubs believe Chapman, who has a 2.01 ERA and 44 strikeouts in 311/3 innings, is worth the cost and controversy surrounding him. Chapman has 165 saves over the past five seasons with the Reds and Yankees, and his fastball was clocked at 105 mph numerous times last week.

Chapman, however, served a 30-game suspension at the start of this season under Major League Baseball's new policy on domestic violence. Chapman was accused of choking his 22-year-old girlfriend and firing eight shots in his Florida home.

Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts, in a statement, said he, Epstein and GM Jed Hoyer spoke with Chapman. "I shared with him the high expectations we set for our players and staff both on and off the field," Ricketts said in a statement. "Aroldis indicated he is comfortable with meeting those expectations."

Said Chapman: "I regret I did not exercise better judgment and for that I am truly sorry."

SALE'S RETURN: White Sox LHP Chris Sale will start Thursday against the Cubs in his first appearance since he was suspended for five days for destroying collared throwback uniforms the team was to wear Saturday.

BLUE JAYS: RF Jose Bautista, out since June 16 with a sore left big toe, was activated from the disabled list.

MARLINS: LHP Wei-Yin Chen went on the 15-day disabled list with a left elbow strain.

RANGERS: 1B/DH Prince Fielder is set to have season-ending neck surgery for the second time in three years.

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Published: 02/17/18