Dodgers Did the Right Thing With Chapman
By Alex Campos
It’s starting to become blatantly obvious that the Dodgers FO will be criticized for every single move they do or don’t make
By now, most Dodger fans should have an understanding of the failed trade for Aroldis Chapman. In short, the Dodgers had a deal in place to acquire the (arguably) most dominant closer in baseball. It flamed out and for a while seemed like it could be reworked, but Chapman was traded to the Yankees yesterday (which Amanda wrote about here).
Trades flame out and rumors of agreed-upon trades fall through, but this was a weird case. The agreement was first announced early in the morning on December 7th, and most of that day was spent speculating on A) the prospects heading to Cincinnati and B) how Chapman would fit into a bullpen with an incumbent dominant closer, Kenley Jansen.
Tim Brown and Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports dropped the bombshell, that Chapman was involved in a domestic violence incident. The trade was put on the backburner, and yesterday it became official that Chapman would not be traded to the Dodgers, instead going to the Yankees.
Oct 3, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers relief pitcher Kenley Jansen (74) earns a save in the ninth inning of the game against the San Diego Padres at Dodger Stadium. Dodgers won 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
When the Dodgers initially agreed to acquire Chapman, most people were pumped. I was slightly less pumped, but Chapman was (and still might be) one of my favorite players in baseball. He was also entering the final year of his contract, and depending on the price this trade could have been painful. Trading high caliber prospects for one year of a reliever, no matter how dominant, doesn’t seem like good strategy.
After the allegations came forward, most people (rightfully) were over Chapman. He’s a phenomenal talent, but the Dodgers haven’t always had the most stable clubhouse in baseball, and adding that mess (and potentially upsetting Jansen) seemed to be too much risk. Add in the potential of suspension, and it seemed like a lot of negatives to outweigh the positive of adding him to the bullpen.
Fast forward less than a month, and not much has changed. The allegations aren’t being talked about as strongly and no suspension has been handed down. Yet, the narrative has completely changed. Very few members of the national media have criticized the Yankees for taking on Chapman, while seemingly everyone had hot takes when it seemed that Chapman was headed towards LA. Not only are the Yanks NOT getting criticized for trading for a guy with domestic violence allegations, but the Dodgers are also taking heat for NOT trading for him.
I, like many, do not care about Larry King’s two cents. I just want people to pick a freaking side. The Dodgers’ front office isn’t perfect (no front offices are), but some are so intent on disagreeing with every single move they make. Had the Dodgers gone through with the Chapman trade, King and others would be spewing takes about their disappointment in the Dodgers trading for a controversial pitcher.
The Dodgers failed to sign an ace, but had two good moves completely fall through for matters out of their own hands (Chapman’s allegations and Hisashi Iwakuma and his physical). I’ve said it a million times, but there is still plenty of time before the season starts. If the Dodgers took their current team into the season, I’d be pretty shocked and a bit disappointed. This team, if all goes right, is still good enough to win the division. It probably won’t be as easy as the last three seasons, where the Dodgers won the West by 11, six and eight games, respectively, but it’s still a strong possibility.
The Dodgers decided to not top a rather underwhelming package of prospects to acquire Chapman. I don’t know the Yankee’s farm system very well past the top few guys, but my understanding is that they traded an always-injured prospect, a potentially OK starter, and two minor league filler guys for him. The price was a lot lower due to the allegations, and some are upset the Dodgers weren’t able to top it (whether they tried or not remains to be seen). It won’t seem this way when the Dodger pen blows a lead during the season or when the Yankees go on to have the greatest bullpen ever, but it’s a good thing that the Dodgers passed on Chapman.
Note- I agree with a Steve Dilbeck article, and he didn’t use the word “nerd” or “geek squad” once. Board up your windows and try to ride out the impeding apocalypse.