Rumors regarding the Cincinnati Reds have been pretty quiet for a few weeks now. It seems unwritten that they’ll be making some trades but nothing concrete has come up until now. They have apparently discussed a possible deal with the Washington Nationals regarding left-handed closer Aroldis Chapman as reported by Jon Morosi of FOX Sports.
It is no surprise to see Chapman’s name come up in any sort of deal. He is one of the best assets the Reds have in terms of trade chips and will undoubtedly fetch a high return if he is dealt. The flame-throwing lefty has once again been lights out this year as his fastball is once again topping out at 100 MPH and combined with a filthy slider, he is sporting a healthy 2.30 ERA across 27.1 innings of relief while having a usual 14.8 SO/9 ratio. His control has been a bit off this season as he is averaging a 5.6 BB/9 ratio, but his stuff is so electric and he himself has been mostly dominant this year to offset those issues.
He would be a great piece for any contending team to have in their bullpen so it’s no surprise to see the Nats are checking in on him. With the Reds currently sitting at 27-32 and in 4th place in the NL Central Division. Their season has not gone as planned as they have underacheived for the most part and appear primed to enter the trade deadline as sellers.
The Nats have been reportedly asking around about relief help to help fortify their bullpen. Their bullpen hasn’t been terrible this year although they haven’t gotten consistent production from their relievers other than their closer Drew Storen. Their pitching rotation isn’t getting deep enough into ballgames as they would like, so they are having to go to their bullpen a little more and are facing the risk of overworking their relievers to the point where they may falter down the stretch due to fatigue.
Getting Chapman would be huge for their bullpen as it may help lessen the load on their current relievers while also pairing him with Storen would give them one of the best back-end duos in baseball and help improve their chances at the postseason. Chapman is making only $8.05 million this season and is not slated for free agency until 2017. This makes him more than affordable in the inflated market for relievers which will also make his trade cost that much higher for the Nats so if they truly want to get a deal done then they will have to part with some key prospects in order to bring the lefty over from Cincy. No deal is close yet as of this point, so talks right now are presumed to be preliminary.