Had their offseason attempt to acquire then-Cincinnati closer Aroldis Chapman not fallen through over his domestic violence issues, the Dodgers would have deployed the left-hander aggressively in a setup role, a club official told Joel Sherman of the New York Post. That would have meant continuing with Kenley Jansen as the closer, which the Dodgers believe Chapman would have accepted after doing background work on him. Chapman ended up going to the Yankees, who shipped him to the Cubs in advance of this year’s non-waiver trade deadline. The flame-throwing 28-year-old could join the Dodgers in free agency during the offseason, notes Sherman, who writes that the team still has a high opinion of him. Los Angeles is also facing the potential departure of Jansen, who is set to join Chapman on the open market.
More from the National League:
- The Ricketts family, owners of the Cubs, are considering launching their own regional sports network before the 2019 expiration of their local television rights agreements, according to Kathy Bergen and Robert Channick of the Boston Herald. PwC, a consulting firm, projects that media rights will become professional sports teams’ biggest source of direct revenue by 2018. With that in mind, the Cubs could try to follow in the footsteps of the Dodgers, who launched regional network SportsNet LA with Time Warner Cable on a 25-year, $8.35 billion deal in 2014. Some cable providers have been reluctant to carry the channel because of its higher premium, though, and that might make such a lucrative agreement unrealistic for the Cubs, per Bergen and Channick. If the Cubs do form their own network, it could be in a partnership with Comcast SportsNet Chicago, which currently carries 79 games per season and pays the team $500K for each.
- Outgoing Reds president of baseball operations Walt Jocketty told C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer that the team’s rebuild will succeed “as long as everybody doesn’t get too impatient.” The Reds have won fewer than 76 games in three straight seasons – including 68 this year – but Jocketty informed Rosecrans that the face of the franchise, superstar first baseman Joey Votto, is on board with the club’s direction. “I can see the light at the end of the tunnel with this club. I talk to guys like Joey (Votto) — Joey sees it, he’s excited about it. I’ve seen him more engaged with some of these young guys,” said Jocketty, who will transition to an advisory role as general manager Dick Williams takes control of the Reds’ baseball department.