The winter meetings in Nashville have officially begun, and they’ve started out with a bang. Per Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, the Dodgers and Reds have agreed in principle to a deal that sends Reds’ closer Aroldis Chapman to the Dodgers in exchange for two prospects. The deal comes just a couple of days after the Dodgers lost Zack Greinke to the Diamondbacks on a reported six-year, $206-million deal, in which Los Angeles was reluctant to give Greinke, 32, a six-year deal, as the Dodgers were only comfortable with five.
The Chapman acquisition marks a major improvement for the Dodgers, whose bullpen has been their Achilles heel the last couple of seasons. Their bullpen had a combined 3.91 ERA in 2015, with the only two relievers with an ERA under 3.00 being closer Kenley Jansen and J.P. Howell. Now with Chapman, the Dodgers would presumably have Chapman close, and Jansen set up, a duo that could be dominant. After losing out on Greinke, the Dodgers will try to do what the Yankees did last season, shortening the game with a dominant back-of-the-bullpen.
Chapman, 27, is entering his final contract season, a premier reason why rebuilding Cincinnati was looking to deal him. Chapman has been an All-Star in each of the last four seasons, posting a 1.65 ERA in 2015, with 33 saves. In his career, Chapman has an ERA of 2.17, and has 146 saves over just four years as the Reds’ full-time closer. Chapman is set to make $8 million this season, before he hits the open market next winter. After recently signing with new agent Marc Anthony, it could be assumed that he will likely seek to become a free-agent, rather than attempt to land an extension with the Dodgers.
The Dodgers have reportedly also been in talks with the Miami Marlins regarding young stud pitcher Jose Fernandez, with the Marlins asking for top prospects Julio Urias and Corey Seager in return. However, it doesn’t appear this Chapman deal will affect the Dodgers’ other pursuits, but the return Cincinnati is getting is currently unknown.