Cubs Make Trade Official, Release Statements from Tom Ricketts, Aroldis Chapman

It’s official, the Cubs have indeed acquired Aroldis Chapman and the closer will join the team on the South Side Tuesday. In the wake of the team’s announcement, both Tom Ricketts and Chapman released statements. I’m going to keep commentary on them to a minimum, but wanted to share ASAP.

From Ricketts:

Obviously, we are aware of the circumstances surrounding Aroldis Chapman’s suspension earlier this season. We are also aware that he cooperated fully with the league investigation and takes responsibility for his actions.

Today, prior to completing the trade, Theo, Jed and I spoke with Aroldis. I shared with him the high expectations we set for our players and staff both on and off the field. Aroldis indicated he is comfortable meeting those expectations.

Finally, my family, this team and Major League Baseball take the issue of domestic violence very seriously and support efforts to reduce domestic violence through education, awareness and intervention.

My first thought is that this is exactly the type of vanilla, buzzwordy fluff I’d expected. I mean, what’s Chapman going to do, not agree to not be an ogre for the next couple months? Predictably trite content aside, the absence of an Oxford comma bothers me.

And here’s Chapman’s (translate) statement:

I want to thank the New York Yankees for trusting and supporting me, and I wish nothing but the best for the Yankees organization and my former teammates. I am excited about today’s trade and look forward to joining the Chicago Cubs and meeting my new teammates. It is a privilege to wear the Cubs uniform and to play for the fans of Chicago.

As you know, earlier this year I accepted and served a 30-game suspension from Major League Baseball resulting from my actions of October 30, 2015. I regret that I did not exercise better judgment and for that I am truly sorry. Looking back, I feel I have learned from this matter and have grown as a person. My girlfriend and I have worked hard to strengthen our relationship, to raise our daughter together, and would appreciate the opportunity to move forward without revisiting an even we consider part of our past. Out of respect for my family, I will not comment any further on this matter.

I cannot wait to take the mound at Wrigley Field and look forward to helping my teammates deliver a championship to Chicago.

When it comes to athlete press releases crafted by publicists, this is pretty much par for the course. Excitement to join team and win title, pandering to fans, vague non-apology apology, refusal to talk about the topic again. I expected nothing else, though I wonder if this guy really knows what he’s getting into. Maybe he does, but I think he’s in for a rude awakening when he makes that first appearance.

The person I’m really interested in hearing from at this point is Theo Epstein. I know what I’m going to get from Tom Ricketts and from Aroldis Chapman, Epstein’s really the face of this deal from the Cubs’ perspective. I have to think we’ll hear from him at The Cell tonight, so stay tuned for more.

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