The Yankees appear on the verge of trading closer Aroldis Chapman. The organization isn’t commenting, but Chapman revealed yesterday that his agent has told him general manager Brian Cashman has been in touch with his representative on the subject.
“There’s a lot of rumors and stuff out there,’’ Chapman said through a translator after the Yankees beat the Giants, 5-2, to end the homestand 6-4. “I don’t have any information, but my agent did say that they were talking to [Cashman]. But that’s all I have.’’
The Cubs reportedly are front-runners to acquire Chapman and are willing to part with their top prospect, shortstop Gleyber Torres, 19. The Indians and Nationals have also shown interest. Chapman has 20 saves since his debut for the team in May after serving a suspension imposed by MLB for an alleged incident of domestic violence.
Chapman, who is eligible for free agency after the season, wants to remain with the Yankees and appeared upset at the thought of leaving.
“[I’m] so comfortable here,’’ he said. “I feel like part of the family here. Being traded halfway into the season is not as comfortable as starting there. Yeah, it’s tough.’’
But Chapman realizes the decision is out of his hands, saying: “That’s something I have no control of. If the team wants to trade me, they have the last say.”
He left open the possibility of returning next season. “Oh yeah, there’s a possibility and that willingness,’’ he said.
But at the price he will command, it seems unlikely the Yankees, who have Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances, would be interested.
Neither of the three bullpen stars were available against the Giants. The Yankees staked starter Nathan Eovaldi (9-6) to a 5-0 lead after six innings and Chad Green pitched 2 1⁄3 innings to pick up his first save.
Carlos Beltran (first inning) and Mark Teixeira (second) homered off losing pitcher Jeff Samardzija (9-6), who was knocked out in the sixth when he allowed three additional runs on five hits, including an RBI single by Starlin Castro and a run-scoring double by Didi Gregorius.
Joe Girardi, growing weary of the continuous trade talk, said before the game: “We don’t want to be broken up. We want a chance to fight, and fight and fight. But we need to play better. It’s the bottom line.”
Chapman’s teammates do not want him to be dealt.
“I’m a huge Chapman fan, I’ve been a Chapman fan from Day One,’’ Brett Gardner said. “I hope that not only is he here the rest of his year but for the next however many years, as long as I’m here. I love handing the ball to him at the end of a game.’’
Gardner realizes management will make the decision. “We obviously haven’t played up to our potential, so we as the players have put management or the organization in the position we’re in. Like I said, I like the position we’re in a whole lot better right now than where we were at a week, two weeks ago, three weeks ago.’’
Catcher Brian McCann added: “We’re confident in our team that we have in here. We got off to a bad start, so we’re trying to make up games. I think everyone to a man in here really likes this team. Listen, we love our team in here.’’
Beltran, also rumored to be trade bait, thinks there still may be time to convince management to keep the team as is. “We have a responsibility as players to show up every day and try to do the best we can as a team . . . We have to win.’’