It's starting to look like the Dodgers are going to be very busy. After losing out on the Greinke sweepstakes, the Dodgers needed to make a splash to put the fans at ease. First, there was word over the weekend that they are in the midst of signing free agent starting pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma (not yet confirmed). Now we hear from all corners, originally via Ken Rosenthal on twitter, that the Dodgers have made a trade with the Reds for fireball relief pitcher/closer Aroldis Chapman.
Best yet, it doesn't appear that we had to give up our best prospects to get him, via a tweet by Jon Heyman:BREAKING: #Dodgers agree to acquire Chapman from #Reds for two prospects. Deal is pending review of medical records, sources say.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 7, 2015
At this point we still don't know who'll be going to Cincinnati, so stay tuned for that. In the meantime, you can follow Chapman on twitter here: @achapman_105, or on Instagram here: _thecubanmissle54.Chapman deal is agreed to with dodgers. 2 prospects to reds. (not seager, urias or deleon). Pending medicals— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) December 7, 2015
BTW, if you don't already know, Aroldis Chapman is the hardest throwing pitcher in the game. He regularly throws over 100 mph and is considered one of the top closers in Baseball. It is expected that that the Dodgers will keep both Kenley Jansen and Chapman in the bullpen, so I wouldn't expect any pending followup trade. Instead, I suspect both relievers will close with Jansen being the main guy out of the pen. After all, Kenley has earned that role with the club.
Clearly, this trade instantly shores up a bullpen that has been severely lacking the past few years. If Chris Hatcher continues to pitch like he did for most of last season then we might be looking at a sold 7, 8 and 9 inning relief core that could be the best in the league.
In celebration of Chapman becoming a Dodger I made the above two fantasy cards of him. On the left, the photograph by Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY and I used the 1979 Topps Baseball card design. On the right, the photograph is by Rob Tringali/Getty and I used the 1959 Topps Baseball card design.
Below are his career statistics as a player, via Baseball-Reference:
UPDATE: Apparently, everyone has jumped the gun here. So, the post above might be premature. Other Baseball sources are saying this deal is not yet done. Via a couple of tweets via Jayson Stark and Mark Sheldon:
Sources saying no deal done yet for #reds and #dodgers on Chapman. I'm hearing multiple teams could be involved.— Mark Sheldon (@m_sheldon) December 7, 2015
Not sure what to make of this. But Reds telling teams they haven't yet agreed to trade Aroldis Chapman to LA. I don't think Dodgers agree— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) December 7, 2015
UPDATE II: I think it's safe to say that this trade is now on hold and may very likely be DEAD. This news came out Monday evening, via Tim Brown and Jeff Passan at Yahoo Sports: "Police report: Aroldis Chapman allegedly fired gunshots, 'choked' girlfriend in domestic incident." I'll share my thoughts on this matter soon. In the meantime check out there report. It ain't pretty.
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