With the hot stove finally beginning to sizzle, the Boston Red Sox are unsurprisingly in the thick of it. They are reportedly being “aggressive” on multiple fronts, including beefing up their relief corps. They are reportedly said to be in on All-Star Cincinnati Reds closer Aroldis Chapman, as reported by Ken Rosenthal.
The Red Sox lacked a true flame-throwing reliever in their bullpen last season, as their best reliever was aging veteran Koji Uehara. With Dave Dombrowski at the helm, they are seeking to upgrade their bullpen among many other areas of need. They have more than enough prospects to pull off a deal for the flame-throwing southpaw from Cincinnati. Despite being in the last year of his deal before free agency, there are very few relievers like Chapman on the market who have deadly command and velocity, making him virtually untouchable. Having him in the back-end of the Red Sox bullpen will only make their relief corps a strength for the 2016 season.
The Reds’ closer racked up 33 saves this year through 66.1 innings of relief across 65 appearances and posted a sizzling 1.63 ERA with a whopping 15.7 SO/9 ratio. The Reds are rumored to be undergoing a full rebuild this offseason and Chapman is at the top of their list of available players. Many teams are knocking, not just the Red Sox, but they are one of the few teams with more than enough assets to pull a deal off. Should the Red Sox be able to win the Chapman sweepstakes, they may not stop there and may look for another setup arm for the back-end of the pen.