To no surprise, the Los Angeles Dodgers were seemingly linked to every premier free agent through the early stages of the offseason.
Their focus was said to be on re-signing Zack Greinke, though that fell through the wayside when the Arizona Diamondbacks made a late entry to the sweepstakes and signed the right-hander to a six-year, $206.5 million contract.
As the Dodgers continued to have reported interest in just about every starting pitcher, they surprisingly reached an agreement to trade for Aroldis Chapman.
The deal kicked off Major League Baseball’s annual Winter Meetings with a bang, however it of course is now known as the trade that almost was.
A report of Chapman’s involvement of an alleged domestic violence incident put the trade on pause and ultimately ended the possibility of the Dodgers pairing Chapman with Kenley Jansen in the back of their bullpen.
While Los Angeles didn’t circle back around to trading for Chapman, the New York Yankees acquired the electric closer on Monday. Dodgers general manager Farhan Zaidi explained the club’s decision to not revisit trade talks for Chapman, via Jon Weisman of Dodger Insider:
“We obviously, around the time when this down around the winter meetings, didn’t want to comment, and even now I’ll keep my words fairly brief,” Zaidi said. “This is the one time I’m going to comment on it, because we’re talking about a player on another team’s roster. We did come to an agreement in principle (to acquire Chapman), but as (additional) details came to light, we just weren’t comfortable making the move. Every situation is different, every organization has to make their own decision about it. We made the decision based on the information that (was) at hand, we stand by it and we move on.”
Chapman recorded 33 saves with a 1.63 ERA, 1.94 FIP, 1.15 WHIP and 116 strikeouts over 66.1 innings (65 appearances) last season. He was also named to the National League All-Star team for a fourth consecutive year.
While the Yankees acquired the hardest-throwing pitcher in baseball and now boast a bullpen that features a three-headed monster in Dellin Betances, Chapman and Andrew Miller, Chapman faces the prospect of suspension by MLB commissioner Rob Manfred once the league concludes their investigation.