Incident probe casts cloud over Chapman trade
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- A proposed trade that would send Reds All-Star closer Aroldis Chapman to the Dodgers for two prospects is apparently in doubt because of an alleged domestic violence incident involving the reliever, according to a story by Yahoo! Sports.
The story said Chapman fired eight gunshots into the garage of his Miami-area home following an October argument with his girlfriend, who told police Chapman choked her and pushed her against a wall.
The story said MLB has launched a domestic violence investigation into the incident. No arrests were made, but more than a dozen officers responded to the Oct. 30 call to police, according to police reports viewed by Yahoo! Sports.
The Dodgers -- who already have one player, Yasiel Puig, currently under an MLB domestic violence investigation for an alleged physical altercation with his sister preceding a fight with a bouncer at a Miami-area bar -- could very likely back away from acquiring another player under investigation.
Reds president of baseball operations Walt Jocketty, however, said he will continue on a path of trading Chapman, to the Dodgers or elsewhere.
"The trade is still possible," he said. "We've talked to several clubs. I've notified them all tonight that we will step back for a couple of weeks or whatever it takes. They were fine.
"This actually came up the last 24 hours. That's not what held up the trade. We just weren't able to complete it as fast as we wanted to."
The Boston Globe reported on Monday night that the Red Sox learned of the incident in November while doing a background check during trade discussions with the Reds. The discovery led them to instead strike a deal with the Padres for Craig Kimbrel.
Praver Shapiro Sports Management, Chapman's agency, declined comment to MLB.com.
Before the Yahoo! Sports story was posted, Dodgers general manager Farhan Zaidi held his session with the team's media contingent at the Winter Meetings, but he would not comment on any Chapman deal.
After word circulated of Chapman's incident, the club again would not comment.
Reds manager Bryan Price was asked about the potential trade of Chapman, but he declined to offer any speculation.
"I think that obviously everyone knows that is there's a lot of interest in several players that we have. I think it's just not for me to suggest anything, I think puts everybody in a bad place," Price said. "So if anything happens with any of our guys, it would be nice if it happened sooner rather than later, but that's just the nature of the beast. I wish I had more for you, but I think it would be reckless to say anything more."
Prior to reports of the Chapman incident surfacing, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts discussed the potential addition of Chapman to a Los Angeles bullpen that already has an All-Star closer in Kenley Jansen.
"I think if this does happen, that's something I would obviously be excited to have," Roberts said. "Potentially you get two of the best closers ... sharing the same bullpen, that's exciting."
Chapman, who will turn 28 on Feb. 28, has a 2.17 career ERA and 146 saves in 164 chances with 546 strikeouts in 319 innings during his six seasons in Cincinnati. In 2015, he posted a 1.63 ERA in 65 appearances with 33 saves in 36 chances.
After Chapman earned $8.05 million in 2015, he is projected by MLBTradeRumors.com to receive $12.9 million in '16 -- as he is eligible for arbitration for a third and final time. He is set become a free agent after the '16 season. With the Reds rebuilding following a 98-loss 2015, they are motivated to move the left-hander for young talent.
The Dodgers have been at the center of much of the early buzz at this year's Winter Meetings. On Sunday, they reportedly reached an agreement with free-agent starting pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma and infielder Chase Utley. The club has not confirmed any of the moves.