After acquiring closer Aroldis Chapman in a trade with the Yankees, Cubs owner Tom Ricketts released a statement in which he detailed a discussion management had with the lefthander. Chapman doesn’t seem to recall it taking place.
In the discussion, according to Ricketts, Chapman was told that the club has “high expectations” for him off the field after serving a 30-game suspension for domestic violence.
“Obviously, we are aware of the circumstances surrounding Aroldis Chapman’s suspension earlier this season,” Ricketts said on Monday. “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, [general manager Jed Hoyer] 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 with meeting those expectations.”
On Tuesday, when asked about the conversation, Chapman told reporters through a translator that he had just woken up when Rickets and president Theo Epstein called, and did not have specific memory of discussing off-field expectations.
Chapman was accused of choking his girlfriend and firing a gun in the wall during an October night in 2015, and said in a statement on Monday that he regretted his lack of judgment:
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 event we consider part of our past. Out of respect for my family, I will not comment any further on this matter.
Epstein, recalling the conversation, said Chapman was “heartfelt.”
Chicago sent four players—pitcher Adam Warren, top prospect Gleyber Torres, and minor-leaguers Billy McKinney and Rashad Crawford—to New York in the trade.