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On Baseball: Yankees’ Depth Made the Flamethrower Aroldis Chapman Expendable

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The Yankees, blessed with a deep bullpen, traded closer Aroldis Chapman to the Cubs. General Manager Brian Cashman said, “This was an easy call, and this was the right call”

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Alex Goodlett for The New York Times

Most major trades involve some level of pain. A good deal rarely comes without a downside, without something each team will sorely miss.

The Yankees traded Aroldis Chapman to the Chicago Cubs on Monday, and to be sure, they will miss the surge of excitement that rippled through their ballpark when Chapman threw fastballs. Chapman challenged the human body’s limits, pushing the boundaries of the possible. As an athlete unlike any other, he was, in some ways, the essence of why we watch sports.

“They’re going to get the most exciting ninth inning that you can imagine,” General Manager Brian Cashman said Monday before the Yankees’ 2-1 victory over the Houston Astros, when a Chicago reporter asked him what Cubs fans could expect. “It’s a very unique circumstance. He’s not afraid of anything.”

Yet the Yankees are not afraid, either. Not…

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