The Nationals and Reds have discussed a trade involving Aroldis Chapman, although no deal appears imminent, Jon Morosi of FOX Sports tweets. (In a separate tweet, Morosi characterizes the talks as “very preliminary.”) Earlier today, Morosi wrote that the Nationals were looking for late-inning bullpen help. Chapman would obviously fit the bill, even though the Nats don’t have any specific need for a closer in particular, with Drew Storen performing well.
The 27-year-old Chapman has struggled with his control a bit more this year than in years past, with 5.6 BB/9. As usual, though, his eye-popping stuff and strikeout numbers (14.8 K/9) have been more than enough to paper over any minor control issues. Chapman’s fastball remains otherworldly, clocking in at an average velocity of 99.5 MPH this year, and his slider is very much a plus pitch as well.
Chapman is making $8.05MM this season. He is eligible for free agency after 2016. Given his dominance, he represents a bargain at his current salary. The prospect cost the Reds could command for him ought to be substantial, particularly given that he has a year of control remaining beyond this one.