Bill Ladson

Chapman Nats' top target before Trade Deadline

Chapman Nats' top target before Trade Deadline

WASHINGTON -- The Nationals continue to have Yankees left-hander Aroldis Chapman as their top target before the Aug. 1 non-waiver Trade Deadline.

The Nats and Yankees continue to talk about pulling off a possible deal. However, according to a baseball source, Washington is not willing to give up top prospects such as Trea Turner, Lucas Giolito or Reynaldo Lopez for Chapman.

It's not known who the Yanks want in return, but they have had scouts looking at Washington's farm system from Class A Hagerstown to Triple-A Syracuse. The source indicated the Yankees want players who could help them right now. The source also said a player such as Nationals outfielder Michael Taylor is available. In fact, the Yankees have a scout looking at the Nationals this weekend at Nationals Park.

If Washington is able to acquire Chapman, it would mean that he would be reunited with manager Dusty Baker. The two worked together when both were with the Reds from 2010-13. Chapman more than likely would be the closer if he joined the Nationals, while Jonathan Papelbon would likely move to the setup role.

Chapman is a dominating left-hander with a 2.22 ERA and 40 strikeouts in 28 1/3 innings for New York. On Monday, he threw a fastball clocked at 105.1 miles per hour.

Bill Ladson has covered the Nationals/Expos for since 2002 and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.