The Dodgers reportedly had a deal in place to acquire a top closer, but off-field issues have that on hold.
Yesterday, the Dodgers were rumored to be closing in on a trade for Aroldis Chapman. Daniel covered that in this post, and it seemed like the Dodgers had themselves a second dominant closer in their bullpen.
This morning, the trade appeared finalized, with reports that the agreement was Chapman for two prospects. Much of the morning was spent speculating the return for the Reds and Chapman’s role, whether he or Kenley Jansen would be the closer and how they would use both of them.
A certain writer had 645 lovely words ready to post, and a lot of speculation was rolling around about whether the Dodgers were trying to bring in a third team for the trade. Then, pretty much the worst case scenario came to fruition.
This ended up being the cause of the hold up. Chapman reportedly fired gunshots and put his hands on his girlfriend’s neck, not obstructing her breathing but in a choking fashion. Chapman’s story and his girlfriend’s story do not match up on the police report. Chapman’s attorneys deny the allegations, and no charges were filed.
Oct 3, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Cincinnati Reds relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman (54) pitches against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the ninth inning at PNC Park. The Reds won 3-1.Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Whether or not Chapman is charged or anything is just semantics. Chapman’s case in in MLB’s hands, as they recently implemented domestic abuse policies. They will hear Chapman’s case and move on from there.
Predictably, the trade talks are on hold. This should be the farthest thing on everyone’s mind, as domestic abuse should be at the forefront and not “oh no what will the Dodgers do for a reliever”. The trade isn’t completely dead, but it’s on hold until further notice.
Simply being attached to this kind of story is a huge red flag, and the Dodgers would look horrible if they continued to pursue him. As Greg Hardy and the Cowboys have proven, some fans will overlook all the off-field issues as long as the player produces. Which is ridiculous. I’m not saying I want everyone on the Dodgers to be saints, but any sort of domestic abuse should absolutely not be tolerated. It would be extremely hard to support this team if they willingly took on someone like that.
Ideally, the allegations are false or overblown. Not because I want Chapman on the Dodgers, but because I don’t want Chapman to officially be a garbage person. His talent is off the charts and he’s always been one of my favorite players to watch. It’s hard to see a scenario in which the allegations are proven to be false, and even if it is being attached to this type of story is not a great situation to be in.