HOUSTON -- The Yankees bought low and sold high on Aroldis Chapman, flipping the flame-throwing closer to the Cubs on Monday afternoon in exchange for a four-player package that includes 19-year-old shortstop Gleyber Torres, Chicago's top prospect.
New York also reacquired right-hander Adam Warren, who was traded to Chicago this past offseason, and received Minor League outfielders Billy McKinney (ranked No. 5 in the Cubs system) and Rashad Crawford. Torres is rated as the No. 24 prospect in the game by MLBPipeline.com.
"This is an easy call, and this was the right call," Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said. "Easy because we traded from an area of strength, and we are excited about the players that we received for someone that obviously was only under control for two more months."
Following weeks of speculation, Chapman expressed both sadness and relief as he said goodbye to his Yankees teammates. Wielding a fastball regularly clocked in the triple digits, the 28-year-old was 3-0 with a 2.01 ERA and 20 saves in 31 appearances, striking out 44 batters in 31 1/3 innings.
"The first emotion that I feel is just being sad that I'm leaving this family here," Chapman said through an interpreter. "On the other hand, I'm joining the Cubs. They have a really good team. In a way, it's exciting to join them because they have a good chance to make the World Series."
The Yankees moved left-hander Andrew Miller back to the closer's role, in which he recorded 36 saves in 38 chances last year. Miller is 7-for-9 in save opportunities this year, working as the closer while Chapman served a 30-game suspension under Major League Baseball's domestic-violence policy.
"I think it's probably not that surprising based on the way it was reported, but I'm glad I got to play with him," Miller said. "It was a lot of fun to watch him pitch. He goes about things the right way and you can see why he has so much success, that's for sure."
It is possible that the Yankees could attempt to re-sign Chapman as a free agent in the offseason. Cashman said that he was in contact with Chapman's representative, but their discussions never progressed to the extension stage. The Yankees granted the Cubs a window to speak with Chapman, but that was to settle concerns about the domestic-violence incident.
The right-handed-hitting Torres batted .275 with nine home runs, 47 RBIs and 19 stolen bases in 94 games for Class A Advanced Myrtle Beach, and will join Class A Tampa. Cashman said that the Yankees had strong interest in Torres as an international free agent in 2013, and could move him to second or third base.
"I think he's a pretty good kid. He's young, but he's got time," said Starlin Castro, who worked out with Torres in Arizona last year. "We talk on Instagram sometimes. He's a good kid, good personality. I think he's going to be a good player."
Warren was sent to the Cubs with infielder Brendan Ryan in exchange for Castro, and in his absence, the Yankees have had difficulty finding someone to consistently fill the role of swingman. The right-hander was 3-2 with a 5.91 ERA in 29 appearances and one start this season for Chicago and was getting stretched out at Triple-A Iowa to provide additional rotation depth.
"Getting Adam Warren to come back into the fold was of extreme interest," Cashman said. "He was a player that was very difficult for us to trade this winter."
McKinney, 21, was part of Chicago's return for Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel in a trade with the Athletics in '14. He is ranked the No. 75 prospect in baseball and hit .252 with one home run, 12 doubles and three triples in 88 games for Double-A Tennessee. The left-handed hitter was a first-round Draft pick in '13 and will report to Double-A Trenton.
Crawford, 22, was the Cubs' 11th-round Draft pick in '12. He hit .255 with three homers and eight triples in 83 games with Myrtle Beach, and is slated to join Class A Tampa. Cashman referred to Crawford as a "lottery ticket" prospect.
"I think the total package was something that we targeted and strived to get, and if we got it, we would move toward a recommendation," Cashman said. "I made the recommendation to ownership that they thought on, and they gave the sign of the cross to it."
Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch, on Facebook and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.