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Epstein knew risk of trading Gleyber for Aroldis

MLB.com

Gleyber Torres recently debuted for the Yankees as MLB's No. 5 prospect, prompting many to revisit the July 2016 trade that sent the young infielder from Chicago to New York. With the Cubs gearing up for a run at their first World Series title since 1908, president of baseball operations Theo Epstein shipped Torres, along with right-hander Adam Warren and two other prospects, to the Yankees in exchange for closer Aroldis Chapman. Even at the time, Torres was viewed as a steep price to pay for an impending free agent. But Epstein was well aware of the gamble:

"That was the riskiest [trade] and in some ways the least rational one," Epstein told MLB.com's Mark Feinsand on this week's episode of Executive Access. "We were trading a player we really believed in, his entire career, for what could have been two months. There was a very important third month involved, which was the plan with Aroldis Chapman, but that one is almost impossible to defend in a vacuum."

Gleyber Torres recently debuted for the Yankees as MLB's No. 5 prospect, prompting many to revisit the July 2016 trade that sent the young infielder from Chicago to New York. With the Cubs gearing up for a run at their first World Series title since 1908, president of baseball operations Theo Epstein shipped Torres, along with right-hander Adam Warren and two other prospects, to the Yankees in exchange for closer Aroldis Chapman. Even at the time, Torres was viewed as a steep price to pay for an impending free agent. But Epstein was well aware of the gamble:

"That was the riskiest [trade] and in some ways the least rational one," Epstein told MLB.com's Mark Feinsand on this week's episode of Executive Access. "We were trading a player we really believed in, his entire career, for what could have been two months. There was a very important third month involved, which was the plan with Aroldis Chapman, but that one is almost impossible to defend in a vacuum."

Epstein was also aware of the potential reward:

"We knew we had a legitimate chance to win the World Series," Epstein said. "And we also knew there were some things happening in our 'pen where it was going to be obvious to everyone real soon that it was our Achilles heel. We didn't think we could win the World Series without adding a dominant back-end guy. We tried a lot of different ways to do it without giving up a guy like Gleyber, but we didn't have that opportunity. So that was a trade we made in order to win the World Series. A lot of us, before we hit the pillow every night, are thankful that we won the World Series so that we don't ever have to look back on that trade with regret."

To hear more from Epstein about building World Series winners in both Boston and Chicago, as well as the advice he received from Bill Belichick, listen to the full episode of Executive Access here:

On Executive Access, MLB.com executive reporter Mark Feinsand provides a unique look at the people building Major League teams by engaging in candid interviews with front-office personnel from around MLB. Each week, you'll find out how they broke into the game, why they do what they do and how they envision the future of baseball. Look out for new episodes on Tuesdays. Download, subscribe and help others find the show by leaving a rating and review on iTunes or your favorite platform.

On Executive Access, MLB.com executive reporter Mark Feinsand provides a unique look at the people building Major League teams by engaging in candid interviews with front-office personnel from around MLB. Each week, you'll find out how they broke into the game, why they do what they do and how they envision the future of baseball. Look out for new episodes on Tuesdays. Download, subscribe and help others find the show by leaving a rating and review on iTunes or your favorite platform.