Reds may listen to Aroldis offers; Miami an option?
With Marlins seeking pitching, flamethrower lives in South Florida; Cincy looking to shift payroll
By Joe Frisaro and Mark Sheldon
MLB.com |@JoeFrisaro |
SAN DIEGO -- The Reds appear willing to listen to trade proposals for All-Star closer Aroldis Chapman, a source told MLB.com on Tuesday.
If available, Chapman could draw considerable interest on the market. A possible destination could be the Marlins, who are seeking pitching. However, there's been no serious discussion with any specific teams.
Reds general manager Walt Jocketty has made no secret of the fact that his club needs to move payroll to fill needs in left field, and possibly to sign the team's four starting pitchers to long-term contracts before they can become free agents after the 2015 season.
Since his defection from Cuba and signing a six-year, $30.25 million contract with the Reds in 2010, Chapman has become one of baseball's most dynamic closers with his triple-digit velocity.
Despite being struck in the face by a line drive during Spring Training and not making his 2014 debut until May, Chapman enjoyed one of the best seasons of his career. In 54 games, he had 2.00 ERA with 36 saves in 38 chances, 24 walks and 106 strikeouts. The left-hander's 17.67 strikeouts per nine innings ratio set a new Major League record.
A clause in Chapman's contract allows him to opt for salary arbitration, and he is second-year eligible this winter after he earned $5 million in 2014.
Ideally, Miami is looking for a starter but may end up trying to beef up its bullpen.
Chapman, who lives in South Florida during the offseason, would be an immediate draw for the Marlins, with Miami's large Cuban population. But there might not be a good match. Cincinnati is looking for Major League-ready hitters, while Miami seems to have no interest in moving its outfielders -- like Christian Yelich -- preferring to part with prospects.
The Marlins already have a closer in Steve Cishek, who is also second-year arbitration eligible. They could trade him for either a starter or a power bat. Or they can keep him and use him in the eighth inning.