Aroldis Chapman, the superstar closer for the Cincinnati Reds, is available and the team is listening for offers. Chapman, 26, has been one of the best closers in baseball since he took over the role in 2012. He saved 38 games in each of his first two seasons in the majors. After recovering from a line drive to the head in Spring Training this season, Chapman still returned and racked up 36 saves. The left hander owns a career 2.32 ERA in 252.2 innings. Now, according to Ken Rosenthal, the Reds seem ready to deal him off to rebuild for the future and the Miami Marlins should think about making a run at the Cuban star.
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The Marlins already have a top-notch closer in Steve Cishek and adding Chapman would almost definitely push him into a lesser role in the bullpen. He’d most likely serve as the setup man in this scenario. Chapman is the better pitcher and pairing the two together to man the later innings of the game would be a deadly 8/9 punch. After acquiring Aaron Crow from the Kansas City Royals the Marlins seem to want to discuss their bullpen which has some holes in it.
As always the price for top talent is steep. Someone like Chapman is a rare talent and the Marlins would have to give up some good, solid young talent to acquire him. The Reds, whose top starting pitchers are set to hit the free agent market after 2015, would probably look to gain some pitching in return.
Chapman will make just $5 million dollars in 2015 and is arbitration eligible after the season. For someone like this it’s a steal especially when you look at the recent contracts handed out to relief pitchers (Andrew Miller, a setup man just received a 4-year $36 million dollar contract from the Yankees). But, because his contact is so team friendly the Reds would be asking for even more in return. If the Marlins packaged together some young minor league arms with a decent bat or two it may be enough to pry the flamethrower away from the Queen City.
Chapman is under contract through 2016 and the Marlins expect to compete soon. Adding a closer whose only peer is Craig Kimbrel would certainly help them get to the point where they can contend against the Washington Nationals in the National League East. While the Reds are likely to be frugal and look for the absolute best offer possible, the Marlins should definitely consider making a move for this elite talent.