Maybe Arizona is trying to get involved in the frenzy that is the MLB Trade Deadline, after all. The Dbacks have shown they are committed to addressing their pressing need of a more intimidating bullpen. On Thursday night, they submitted an offer to acquire the services of Cincinnati closer, Aroldis Chapman, one of the elite closers in the game.
Cincinnati is well believed to be selling off most of their core. Johnny Cueto has already been shipped off to Kansas City. Mike Leake will most likely be in a different uniform come August 1st. Jay Bruce and Brandon Phillips have also been linked to trade rumors. One name that has almost been exclusively associated with the Dbacks is Aroldis Chapman.
The 27-year old Cuban lefty has already been selected to four All Star Games. With the exception of 2011, each of Chapman’s seasons end with his ERA at 2.50 or below. In 2012, Chapman was 5-5 with a 1.51 ERA while striking out 122 hitters in 71.2 innings. That season he ended up in 8th in the NL Cy Young voting and 12th in the NL MVP voting.
Jul 29, 2015; St. Louis, MO, USA; Cincinnati Reds relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman (54) pitches in the ninth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Chapman has had 35+ saves in each of his last 3 seasons. In 2015, Chapman is 3-4 with a a 1.65 ERA, while converting 21 saves. Chapman has struck out 77 hitters in 43.2 innings. Chapman is credited with throwing the fastest pitch in MLB history at 105 MPH. It’s his fastball that has led him to 507 career strikeouts in just 296.1 innings.
Arizona bullpen woes have also been heavily documented. Addison Reed began the season as the closer but was quickly removed due to poor performances. Brad Ziegler was then inserted and has performed spectacularly. With a 1.21 ERA and 17 saves in his pocket, Ziegler is in the midst of a career year at the age of 35. The bridge to the 9th inning has been rocky, at best, and the higher ups envision Ziegler as a set up option.
The Chapman move would solidify a deadly 8th/9th inning combination. Additionally, Chapman is controlled through next season and is still currently at his peak form. What hasn’t been released was what exactly was offered for Chapman. For now, it appears, we’re stuck playing a waiting game.
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