Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

aroldis chapman redsAroldis Chapman has been traded in folks’ minds for weeks, but it seems like this week at the Winter Meetings is when it will actually happen. Arguably the best pitcher of all-time (seriously: there’s a legit argument for it), Chapman is a year out from free agency on a rebuilding team, and could command a significant haul.

Jon Heyman lists the Dodgers, Diamondbacks, Nationals, and Astros among the interested teams. Can you imagine if the Dodgers got him and closed you out in games with Chapman and Kenley Jansen back-to-back? It would be reminiscent of 10 years ago when the Dodgers finished out with peak Guillermo Mota and peak Eric Gagne. For a good time, check out Gagne’s LOL three-year stretch from 2002 to 2004 when he posted 11.5 WAR (as a RELIEVER (IN JUST THREE YEARS(!))). Sure, he subsequently admitted to using PEDs, but still. Just silly numbers, especially at a time when so many hitters were juiced up, too.

I digress, but only a little bit, because those Dodgers appear to be in the most serious position to get Chapman.

Ken Rosenthal reports that the Dodgers are in talks with the Reds to land the best closer in baseball for prospects.

Having missed out on retaining Zack Greinke, having not been in a position to go after David Price, then having missed out on Jeff Samardzija as a fall-back plan, the Dodgers will undoubtedly still be signing a starting pitcher or two. But one way to cover over any holes that develop in the rotation is to snag a super elite closer like Chapman.

Then, as I said, they could pair Chapman and Jansen in the 8th and 9th innings, in whatever order, shortening the game in a serious way.

All things equal, you’d love to see Chapman moved out of the NL Central for 2016, though he would ideally go to the American League, rather than to a quality team in the NL who could figure into the Wild Card race.

It’ll be interesting to see if this goes through, and just how much the Reds could net for Chapman as they rebuild. If Chapman doesn’t go to the Dodgers soon, his remaining presence on the market will be a focus around the league for this week in Nashville.

UPDATE: Buster Olney is hearing some confidence:

It’s going to cost the Dodgers at least one significant prospect (and then some additional ones, too). This is probably better than no trade of Chapman at all, as far as the Cubs are concerned, but Chapman helping the Dodgers in 2016 isn’t good for the Cubs, and the Dodgers stocking the Reds’ farm system isn’t good for the Cubs. So I guess, in the end, my question is: how does this f**king help the Cubs?

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