The Cincinnati Reds and Los Angeles Dodgers kickstarted Major League Baseball’s annual Winter Meetings with quite the opening bell by reaching an agreement that would send closer Aroldis Chapman to the Dodgers.
However, by Monday night the trade was put on hold due to the revelation of a matter that extends beyond the field.
Chapman is being investigated under MLB’s new domestic violence policy, stemming from his involvement in a reported domestic violence incident on Oct. 30.
Chapman reportedly got physical with his girlfriend and fired his handgun eight times in his garage.
No arrests were made, but Chapman still faces possible disciplinary action at the behest of MLB commissioner Rob Manfred. The Dodgers and other clubs have cooled in their pursuit of the left-handed closer since news of the incident was brought into the public spotlight.
However, according to ESPN’s Mark Saxon, the Dodgers have not completely walked away from trade talks:
The Los Angeles Dodgers have put the acquisition of reliever Aroldis Chapman on the backburner as they await more information from Major League Baseball’s domestic violence investigation, but sources insist the deal is not dead.
When speaking after the Dave Roberts introductory press conference last week, Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said the club takes into account on and off-the-field matters when determining roster moves (trades, signings, etc.).
Friedman reiterated that stance on Tuesday:
“Everything is factored in when you make personnel decisions,” Friedman said. “Even when I was with the Rays, we put a tremendous amount of work in with guys. You go into any decision with your eyes wide open and constantly talk through things. You look at the pros and cons and see what makes the most sense.”
The Dodgers reportedly were sending two Minor League prospects to the Reds in exchange for Chapman, who currently is arbitration-eligible and in line to become a free agent after the 2016 season.
However, he needs 138 service days to reach free agency. While there are generally 183 days in a season, 172 service days equals a full year of service time. Meaning, if Chapman is suspended for a minimum of 46 games, he would not be eligible for free agency until after the 2017 season.