The Haves and Have-Nots: Yanks Get Chapman at Dull Winter Meetings

By Rich Mancuso/Sports Editor

NATIONAL HARBOR, MD – It always comes down to baseball economics. So who said the Baseball Winter Meetings would be non-stop wheeling and dealing and contracts offered to the high profiled closers that could bring some closure to the teams making a bid?

None of that closure happened the past few days at a resort fit for kings outside of Washington D.C. And for the Mets and Yankees, there was no drama as the meetings headed for closure Thursday.  This once was a ritual, a meeting of baseball executives trying to fill their needs before the holidays.

Aroldis Chapman_NYYYankees GM Brian Cashman gave fans of the Bronx Bombers the holiday gift of Matt Holliday re-signing a $13 million one-year contract and re-acquiring closer, Aroldis Chapman.

Chapman got a five year, $86 million deal. The Cuban, who they traded away to get younger., I thought was making it more difficult for the Yankees to reacquire him with his contract demands.  The Chicago White Sox are the winners getting top prospects from the Nationals and the name of David Robertson once again became a part of the Yankees drama.

“They want Chapman and made the offer,” said a source in the know about the Yankees and Chapman. And he accepted it.

That just about explains the haves and have nots of an otherwise dull meeting of the minds, also known as the Baseball Winter Meetings.  GM’s and executives are in their bunkers, and those leaks of information that manage to flow down two massive lobbies are either true or not.

And if the Washington Nationals, winners by acquiring Adam Eaton, had not missed on their need of getting lefthander Chris Sale, well perhaps Gio Gonzalez would have been moved and had a new home in the Bronx as the Yankees have that need for a starting pitcher with financial flexibility in this world of baseball economics.

So what do we know? As the Yankees awaited Chapman’s late night decision, it was obviously their first preference to have him pitch again in the Bronx and the drama could continue when these meetings wrap up Thursday after the Rule 5 draft.

Any potential trade for the Yankees is another have or have not. There have been talks with other teams, and once again who is to know how legitimate or accurate are the reports? In this era of technology and watching the phone, social media seems to be the source of information and that adds to the circus of these Winter meetings. My how things have changed.

The haves and have nots of the Mets? Looks more probable that GM Sandy Alderson will go home with his executives and enjoy the holidays. The main focus was re-signing Yoenis Cespedes and that happened before this have and have not gathering of baseball personnel this week.

The Mets came to seek some bullpen help, not a Chapman or a Jansen and will probably come home empty and go with a returning Zach Wheeler in the late innings, so it appears that way at the moment,

And Alderson said his payroll will go down because at some point the Mets will get a trading partner for Jay Bruce or Curtis Granderson.

Bruce is the likely one out the door. When it happens the Mets will acquire some help for the bullpen that in all probability will not have closer Jeurys Familia available for a few months due to a domestic violence suspension.

More questions? The Mets showed their intent to not spend on another power hitter and that means no Jose Bautista or Edwin Encarnacion to Citi Field.  Travis d’arnaud will take his injury prone career once again to New York and handle the pitchers, so right now the Mets formula to win is with Cespedes and a hopeful recovery from the have- nots of an injured pitching staff of last season.

Yes, the haves and have -nots of a dull Winter Meetings meeting of the minds. And that applied to all of baseball this week that was full of rumors and a few dramatic moments with the Red Sox adding Sale to the rotation and the Nationals trading three prospects for Eaton.

Want more drama?  Oh, the Rule 5 draft if that can be understood. Thursday that closes  this dull show of the haves and have-nots of the 2016 Baseball Winter Meetings.

Comment Rich Mancuso:  Twitter@Ring786 Mancuso

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