Timing worked against Reds in Chapman deal

Timing worked against Reds in Chapman deal

SAN FRANCISCO -- In the wake of the Cubs' acquisition of Aroldis Chapman from the Yankees on Monday, there were two realizations. First, the Reds could face their former All-Star closer six times this season. Second, did the Reds get enough in return for Chapman when he was traded to the Yankees in December?

For Chapman, the Reds received starting pitcher Rookie Davis, reliever Caleb Cotham, third baseman Eric Jagielo and infielder/outfielder Tony Renda. New York flipped Chapman to the Cubs for pitcher Adam Warren and prospects Gleyber Torres, Billy McKinney and Rashad Crawford. Torres, a 19-year-old shortstop, was the top-ranked prospect in the Cubs' system and is ranked 24th overall according to MLB Pipeline.

Had Chapman been moved at last year's non-waiver Trade Deadline, or held until this year's deadline, there is a good chance the outcome would have been different, given what transpired with Chapman over the winter. Reds general manager Dick Williams declined to comment on Monday's trade.

In July 2015, Chapman was linked often in rumors to potential deals by the Reds involving the D-backs, Astros and Yankees. While it's not known what the offers were, it's reasonable to think they were in the vicinity of Monday's transaction. But while the rebuilding Reds did move Johnny Cueto and Mike Leake, they did not make the move on a Chapman trade.

At the Winter Meetings, the Reds had a deal in place to send Chapman to the Dodgers, but that was called off when allegations of a domestic incident involving the left-hander emerged. While there were no charges against Chapman, Major League Baseball investigated and levied a 30-game suspension.

Prior to MLB's announcement of the suspension, the Reds finally did move Chapman to the Yankees, and the uncertainty surrounding his situation no doubt affected what the Reds got in return. Chapman also was awarded $11.3 million in arbitration in February, which also served as an impetus for the cost-cutting Reds to make a deal before the season started.

On the bright side for Cincinnati, Davis is having a strong year for Double-A Pensacola at 8-3 with a 2.68 ERA in 16 starts, and the 23-year-old right-hander is ranked as the organization's 11th-best prospect. Renda, 25, is batting .314/.360/.444 in 88 games combined for Pensacola and Triple-A Louisville. However, Jagielo is struggling with a .218 average. Cotham, who made the big league club out of camp and had some nice appearances, has been on the disabled list with a shoulder injury since May 31.

With a 2.01 ERA and 20 saves in 31 games, Chapman rebuilt his value with the Yankees, and the World Series-starved Cubs paid a high price.

"When you get to the ninth it's like 'Oh, Chapman is coming in, we win,'" Reds shortstop Zack Cozart said. "That made it pretty fun. It's so crazy that when they put the ball into play, you were shocked. He strikes so many guys out and is so dominant."

Cozart has only faced Chapman in live batting practice during Spring Training. That could change when the Reds and Cubs meet Sept. 19-21 at Wrigley Field and Sept. 30-Oct. 1 at Great American Ball Park.

"I'd rather watch him on TV than watch him live," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "I hope to not see him in games too often because that would typically mean things aren't going terribly well for us."

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.