KC Royals Trades: A top reliever is moving to another club

Kansas City did the expected Friday when the club traded a good relief pitcher.
Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

The relief pitcher everyone knew would be a short-timer for the KC Royals when they signed him in January is headed for Texas. As we surmised would eventually happen even before this season began, Aroldis Chapman has been traded:

The club's Tweet tells much, but not all, of the story.

The KC Royals are losing a valuable part of their relief corps to Texas

Chapman, a lefthander who's saved 317 games over 14 big league seasons, fared well for Kansas City. The win he earned with a scoreless inning in Thursday's exciting extra-frame victory over Cleveland was his fourth of the season and gave him a 4-2 final Royal record.

He also surrendered only one earned run in nine June appearances and went 3-0 with an exceptional 1.00 ERA and minuscule 0.778 WHIP for the month. He finishes his short KC career with a nice 2.45 ERA and a pair of saves.

The deal makes sense for the Royals and the Rangers. Despite his contributions this year, he really didn't figure prominently, if at all, in the club's long-term plans. But his reemergence as a top-flight reliever after a disappointing 2022 campaign with the Yankees (4-4, 4.46 with only nine saves) made him attractive to a contender like the Rangers who, under new manager Bruce Bochy, were leading the American League West by five games as Friday night's action began.

And by trading Chapman now, the Royals realized at least some return before his contract runs out and he becomes a free agent after the season.

Replacing Chapman on KC's active roster is Amir Garrett. The club activated him from the Injured List before Friday's game.

Who are the KC Royals getting from Texas in return for Aroldis Chapman?

As their Tweet announcing the deal mentions, Texas gave up southpaw pitcher Cole Ragans and outfielder Roni Cabrera to get Chapman. Ragans has the only major league experience between the two: in 26 games for the Rangers (nine as a starter last year, 17 in relief this year), he was 2-6 with a 5.32 ERA. He was pitching for Texas' Round Rock Triple-A affiliate at the time of the trade.

Cabrera was slashing .315/.464/.611 for Texas' entry in the rookie-level Dominican Summer League.

We'll soon take a more in-depth look at both former Rangers.

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