The Cincinnati Reds seem to be in advanced rebuild mode, which might result in trading Aroldis Chapman away. It’ll be teams climbing over each other to try and sign him, but first and foremost the interest will come from the Boston Red Sox.
Chapman won’t be a free agent before 2017, but the Reds are trying to obtain young pieces for a new team, clearing out whatever is on the table. Sending Johnny Cueto away assisted a team win a World Series (the Kansas City Royals if you didn’t notice). Maybe Chapman can be that kind of missing piece for the team that puts up enough talent on the table to convince the Reds to part ways with him?
Chapman isn’t exactly old. The Cuban left hander is with the Reds since 2010 and will celebrate his 28th birthday before the beginning of next season. There are plenty of innings, strikeouts and saves left in his arm but with the Reds not planning on winning too many games in the meantime, they’re risking of losing him for nothing.
Chapman has made the All-Star game the last four years. While he’s gotten a few less saves in the last couple of years since his breakout year in 2012, he hardly misses one when he’s on the mound. He has a 93.2% success rate in save situations over the last two years while striking out 16.9 batters per nine innings.
The Red Sox need to start moving on from the 40-year old Koji Uehara. He’ll make $9 million next season but if Chapman arrives, it means being moved to a different bullpen role. He’s done a decent job over the years with the Red Sox including winning a World Series, but if there’s an opportunity to land Chapman for little money (relative, of course), than moving Uehara shouldn’t be something they even have too much problem deciding on.