Since Andrew Friedman was hired by the Los Angeles Dodgers as president of baseball operations it quickly became apparent to expect the unexpected. Such was the case during last year’s Winter Meetings when the Dodgers had an agreement in place to trade for Aroldis Chapman.
The Cincinnati Reds were to receive several prospects in exchange for their flame-throwing closer. But a report of Chapman’s involvement in an alleged domestic dispute surfaced, putting the trade on hold.
Los Angeles eventually walked away from the table, and Chapman was later traded to the New York Yankees. Dodgers controlling owner Mark Walter recently said no one within the organization supported moving forward with the trade for Chapman in light of the reported domestic violence incident.
During the National League Championship Series, Chapman said he does not harbor any resentment toward the Dodgers for backing away from the agreed-upon trade.
In pairing Chapman in the bullpen with Kenley Jansen, the Dodgers were going to boast two of baseball’s best closers. According to Joel Sherman of The New York Post, the club reportedly planned to utilize Chapman outside of the ninth inning, keeping Jansen in his role as closer:
The Dodgers felt they had done enough background work that Chapman would accept — even in his walk year — not accumulating saves but keeping his value up by pitching in high-leverage situations for a championship contender. The Dodgers also felt it would be difficult to tell a career-long player also in his walk year, Jansen, he had lost his job while excelling at it.
The futures of Chapman and Jansen are now intertwined in some sense as both are set to reach free agency this winter. The Dodgers presumably will have interest in each closer, and are said to still admire Chapman:
It also should be remembered with free agency nearing the Dodgers continue to hold Chapman in high regard.
After serving a 30-game suspension, Chapman went on to convert a combined 36 saves with the Yankees and Chicago Cubs. He sported a 1.55 ERA and average 14 strikeouts per nine innings.
Chapman was particularly effective with the Cubs, posting a 1.01 ERA and collecting 46 strikeouts in 26.2 innings over 28 games. In 11 appearances this postseason, the 28-year-old has four saves, two blown saves, and 18 strikeouts across 13 innings