Recent rumors surrounding Aroldis Chapman open up the possibility that the Cincinnati Reds and Washington Nationals have had discussions. A Chapman trade would certainly give the Nationals an amazing weapon in the bullpen, but the Reds would likely need significant assets in return. A report from NBC Sports on Friday suggested that the Nationals want to add Chapman as the main setup guy for closer Drew Storen. That would create a bullpen that might strike fear into the best offenses Major League Baseball has to offer.
While the terms of a deal have not been revealed just yet, it does appear that Washington is serious about improving its bullpen. The team was the second-highest bidder when it came to signing Chapman back in 2010, showing just how much the team is still interested in bringing on the hard-throwing left-hander. It also shouldn’t be surprising if the Reds welcome the negotiations, as the team is rumored to be looking to shed salary for a rebuilding effort.
Aroldis Chapman is one of the best closers in the game, making the National League All-Star team in each of his first three seasons for that role. In the 2014 MLB season, he converted 36-of-38 saves with a 2.00 ERA, 0.833 WHIP, and 17.7 strikeouts per nine innings. So far in 2015, he has a 2.30 ERA, 1.354 WHIP, and has converted 12-of-13 saves for the Reds. Chapman has a career rate of 15.3 strikeouts per nine innings that ranks among the best of all time.
Currently the Washington Nationals have Drew Storen at closer. He took over as the full-time ninth inning guy this season and has yielded some extremely impressive numbers. Storen is 19-of-20 in save opportunities with a 1.11 ERA, 0.781 WHIP, and 11.8 strikeouts per nine innings. The Nationals have no reason to move Storen out of the closer role, but the overall bullpen has been a weakness for the team. If they could put in Chapman during the eighth inning, the team might have the best one-two punch in baseball.
As previously reported on the Inquisitr, Chapman missed the beginning of the 2014 MLB season after being struck in the head by a ball. He came back really strong after that, though, even though the Cincinnati Reds haven’t quite remained competitive. The Reds aren’t out of it in 2015 yet, but at 28-32 and 11 games behind the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Central, the team could start making moves soon. Aroldis Chapman is due $8.05 million this year and has one more year of arbitration left. In addition to the players it will cost the Washington Nationals to acquire him, his raise for the 2016 MLB season will likely be pretty pricy as well.
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