The rebuilding of the Cincinnati Reds is in full swing, as they have traded their dominant closer, Aroldis Chapman, to the Los Angeles Dodgers for 2 prospects, pending Chapman’s medical.
Per multiple sources, Corey Seager, Julio Urias and Jose De Leon are not among the package for the closer, as we are still awaiting word on which prospects that the Reds were able to obtain in the deal.
This continues the purge that Reds General Manager Walt Jocketty has been carrying out since the summer trade deadline, dealing Johnny Cueto to the Kansas City Royals, and Mike Leake to the San Francisco Giants.
However, people remember Jocketty’s tenure with the St. Louis Cardinals, so one knows that there is a plan in place for the Reds. 2016, as of now, is looking like a year of transition and struggle, but with a keen eye to 2017 and beyond.
For the Dodgers, though this doesn’t help the healing of losing Zack Greinke to the Arizona Diamondbacks, they do get one of the most dominant closers in the game today. Since joining the Reds, Chapman has posted a 2.17 ERA with 546 strikeouts in 319 innings in his first six seasons. A bullpen one-two punch of Chapman and right hander Kenley Jansen would be lights out for the 2016 season.
However, there is some cause for concern. Chapman is in his final arbitration year, and he could cost anywhere from 11-15 million days, and he can leave after this season, so this could be a one-year rental for the Dodgers. Also, Chapman did have somewhat of a down year control wise, as he had a walk rate of 4.5 per nine innings, even with a 1.63 ERA, so that is something to keep an eye on.
I believe this will turn out to be a good deal for both teams. Elite relievers, especially closers, with the kind of numbers that Chapman has posted during his career are always in extreme demand, as teams understand the value of bullpen help late in the season more than ever, and the Dodgers saw that and pounced. For the Reds, if they can get 2 of the Dodgers’ Top 10 prospects, it will help with the rebuilding effort that Jocketty has started, and with the eye on 2017 and beyond, will be able to retool and restock in due time.
UPDATE (10:19pm EST) – there is a hold-up in the deal, as Chapman is being investigated for a domestic incident with his girlfriend. We will continue to monitor this.