I had internet issues at the office yesterday, so I couldn't get on and write what I had planned to write about. I'll make it up in an abridged version now along with some other news nuggets and happenings around Yankeeland. - On Thursday, local authorities announced that they would not be filing charges against Aroldis Chapman in connection with the alleged events that took place at his home last year. Police were called to the house in response to a domestic dispute and Chapman was accused of choking and pushing his girlfriend during an argument as well as firing a gun in his garage. Chapman admitted to firing the gun out of frustration, but denied assaulting his girlfriend and he was not arrested at the time. There was a fair amount of internet outrage earlier in the week when Hal spoke about the signing and dropped the "innocent until proven otherwise" line, but with the timing of this announcement you have to think that he and the team knew the situation when he made those comments.
With the police and legal investigation now complete, MLB can start its investigation into the allegations and decide on a suspension. We've been hearing for a while that Chapman's suspension was not expected to be a long one and I have to think the lack of criminal charges being filed will help that cause. There's certainly the argument to be made that Chapman deserves some kind of suspension for the gun and the situation in general, however it went down, but MLB has other cases that it can use to set a precedent with its new domestic violence policy, cases in which there were charges and pleas entered. As far as I'm concerned, it's time to move forward with Chapman. Get the guy a uni number and let's play ball.
- MLB.com is rolling out its top 10 positional prospects lists, and on Thursday they unveiled the top 10 catching prospects with Gary Sanchez coming in at number 2. That's quite the leap for Sanchez, who did not make the cut for last year's top 10, and the short write-up on him highlighted his "huge power and cannon arm" while raising the questions about his receiving skills and ability to stick at the position long-term. That's all stuff we've heard and read before as Yankee fans, so no news there. I was hoping Sanchez would reignite his prospect stock with a big year in 2015 and he's done exactly that. If you want to check out the complete list and all the write-ups, it's all free in the link.
- Here's a fun one. MLB announced that it has moved the trade deadline date back to August 1st this year rather than the usual July 31st. Don't get too excited, it's merely because July 31st falls on a Sunday this year and the league obviously doesn't want a bunch of last-minute trades impacting a full schedule of games that day. When the calendar rotates again in 2017, the deadline will go back to July 31st.
- If you missed it last night, the Mets finally had to suck it up and spend the money, agreeing to a 3-year/$75 million deal with Yoenis Cespedes. The deal includes an opt-out after the first year and a full no-trade clause. Cespedes will make $27.5 mil this season. It's about damn time this got done. Cespedes was all but begging the Mets to make him a decent offer and practically begging the Yankees to at least pretend to get involved to put more pressure on the Mets. For all the talk about Hal's tight pockets these days, that's nothing compared to the Wilpons. They're a disgrace as owners. Whatever, good for Yo and good for Mets fans. I'm sure it'll be even more fun when he opts out and leaves next offseason. I never expected the Yankees to get involved.
- Via Pinstriped Prospects, the Yankees released 4 minor leaguers yesterday, including former top 10 prospect Angelo Gumbs. Gumbs was highly regarded when he was drafted, but never came close to reaching his potential and had his career seriously derailed by injuries. It sucks for him, but I feel a little smarter for never buying into the Gumbs hype back in the day.
- Via Brendan Kuty, the Yankees talked to Alex Anthopoulos about joining their front office at some point this offseason, this according to Brian Cashman. There was some shuffling in the lower levels of the Yankee FO after Cash's former assistant GM Billy Eppler was hired as the new GM of the Angels and Anthopoulos is a good baseball guy, so this would have been a good match in my opinion. It certainly never hurts to call and talk to a guy like that.