Aroldis Chapman, closer, Cincinnati Reds, 27 years old.
2015 stats: 3-3 record, 16 saves, 1.83 ERA.
As with Cueto, the Reds might be reluctant to move a potential All-Star in Chapman before the actual game takes place in their ballpark. However, we are in “elite closer-bad team” territory again, and with Chapman being arbitration eligible after this season (his last arbitration year,) the Reds could very well move the veteran fireballer even if it is after the All-Star game. Chapman has been solid over the last handful of seasons, having recorded at least 36 saves and earning a spot on the All-Star team in every season since 2012. Chapman may come at a cheaper price than Papelbon, both prospect wise and definitely money wise. Since Chapman’s initial contract is up and he is arbitration eligible, a team probably wouldn’t have to give up the farm. Chapman is making nearly $5 million less than Papelbon salary-wise.
Potential Suitors: Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Dodgers, Houston Astros, Toronto Blue Jays, Detroit Tigers
The new names here are the Astros and Tigers. The Astros already have a good group in their bullpen with Luke Gregerson, Tony Sipp, and Pat Neshek, but no doubt Chapman would be a welcome addition as the firm closer. The Astros may try to bring in both Cueto and Chapman at once. The Tigers too could be in play, as their bullpen struggles have been well-documented over the past few seasons. The problem for the Tigers is their weak farm system compared to Houston’s. If it comes down to a bidding war the Tigers will fall out of that race fairly quickly.