Blue Jays trade Candidate: Is Aroldis Chapman a Fit?
In an effort to find bullpen help, I feel like Alex Anthopoulos might be checking in on everyone. It reminds me of the scene from “Spaceballs” where they are left searching for Princess Vespa and Lord Helmet is told to comb the dessert:
*WARNING- Contains colorful language!
Now, AA is not Lord Helmet and San Diego is not really the dessert, but there is a lot of searching going on. One avenue the Blue Jays might want to consider is the Cincinnati Reds. According to Ken Rosenthal, they may be looking to clear some money and listen on their flame thrower, Aroldis Chapman.
Now, before we get all dismissive like this would NEVER happen, let’s take a second and explore it. He’ll be 28 at the start of the season. He’s a 3 time All Star that has accumulated 112 saves over the last 3 seasons.
His Steamer projections have him with 28 saves and a WAR of 1.7 next season. According to Fangraphs.com, his vFB (fastball velocity) AVERAGES 100.2mph! According to Ted Berg (USATodaySports), Chapman eclipsed all other pitchers by throwing 358 pitches for 100mph+ last season. 43% of his pitches were that fast. In 2014, the contact percentage for hitters who swung at his pitches was 56.4%. So, yeah. He’s good. And, he’s under team control for TWO MORE YEARS!
We know that there were rumors that the Blue Jays wanted him when he originally defected from Cuba. Could they be interested? Well, of course they are. Are they willing to negotiate? That is the better question. What would it cost for one year of the hardest throwing closer in the league? If the Reds are willing to entertain offers, you know they won’t do so lightly. So what can the Blue Jays offer?
We know the Blue Jays are looking to move Dioner Navarro, but only if it makes their club better. Well, this certainly would. The Reds have Devin Mesoraco. So, Navarro would be moving from one potential backup situation to another. Likely, that will not do the trick. So, then the next logical place would be the young arms the Blue Jays plan on filling the rotation soon.
This is where the conversation starts to get a little uncomfortable. For two years of Chapman, do you want to give up one of Drew Hutchison, Marcus Stroman, Aaron Sanchez or Daniel Norris. We know AA does not want to give up any more starting pitching in trades. But, a deal like this doesn’t come around very often. At the end of the day, I’m not so sure the Blue Jays have so many expendable parts anymore.
Someone is going to make a push. Do you think the Blue Jays will? Should they? Do they have enough to pull this off? We’d love to hear your say on this one. Please leave your thoughts below.