Alright, so Monday was pretty effing insane.
To summarize: Aroldis Chapman was a Dodgers, then not really a Dodger, then maybe a Dodger and finally definitely not a Dodger.
Let’s try to figure out a timeline as best we can.
First, we saw this tweet about Chapman’s being traded to the Dodgers with no specifics other than it looked like it was complete.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 6, 2015
Prospects could mean almost anyone, though, so finding out just a short time later that the Dodgers would not be sending Corey Seager, Julio Urias and Jose de Leon, fans could exhale a bit. When reports came in that the Dodgers weren’t sending any pitching prospects, a couple eyebrows raised.
How could the Dodgers be landing one of the (if not the) best arms in baseball without giving up a single pitching prospect? More on this in a bit.
There was some speculation that the Dodgers wouldn’t keep both Chapman and Kenley Jansen on the roster seeing as both would want to close games. Fortunately, we got several reports this wouldn’t be an issue seeing as that thinking was based on calculations not regarding saves as basically useless (as they should be).
So far, so good.
Later in the afternoon, though, reports started coming forward telling fans to hold off a bit on making Aroldis Chapman jerseys one of Southern California’s top Christmas gifts.
— Mark Sheldon (@m_sheldon) December 7, 2015
Of course, as soon as we got this and several others like it, speculation started running rampantly as to why.
Which team backed out? Is the deal dead? WHAT THE HECK IS GOING ON?
No real answers came out concretely, as those who reported the initial deal wouldn’t back off their report. The Dodgers were reportedly surprised by the Reds’ telling teams Chapman hadn’t been moved, then this tweet about what might be going on threw an interesting curveball into the situation.
I’m hearing the Dodgers leaked the Chapman trade early, hoping to affect another deal in the works. Reds pissed, took a step back. — Howard Cole (@Howard_Cole) December 7, 2015
The report makes it seem like the Dodgers were applying some kind of public pressure to help push a deal along, which wouldn’t be out of the ordinary. Teams have all kinds of moves working simultaneously this time of year, so the sooner one deal can be consummated, the better.
Then, just as fans thought they could call it a night and wake up to Chapman in the morning, Yahoo dropped this hydrogen bomb on everyone, making a deal seem basically impossible for the foreseeable future.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 8, 2015
There are, at this point, all kinds of conflicting reports as to why the deal hit the stalemate it did today. The Reds are claiming this had nothing to do with it and even that they had no idea about the allegations as of even 48 hours ago.
This is complete and utter speculation on my part, but I simply can’t see this being the case. We’re five weeks removed from the incident. Given how impossible it is to keep a secret from the media, I can’t help but feel like something like this could be kept from an employer.
For example, the Boston Globe is reporting the Red Sox knew about the alleged incident before eventually trading for Craig Kimbrel instead of Chapman. Again, this is my own speculation, but if this is true, someone from the Reds is withholding the complete story from at least the media, if not the Dodgers.
So, where does that leave us?
Basically, it’s hard to see the deal actually working out. The Dodgers already have one question mark on their roster in a similar situation in Yasiel Puig. I just can’t see the organization wanting to be under the MLB’s microscope with multiple players.
The amount of scrutiny that (rightfully) swirls around domestic value as an issue in a market like Los Angeles also won’t help.
Now, here’s where I have to point out players deserve due process and Chapman is obviously innocent until proven guilty. Due process does not impact trade value, though, which is what his potential destination is most interested in as of right now. Might a team gamble on his being cleared and buy while his value has never been lower? Possibly, sure.
When you consider that the Dodgers already have a closer of Jansen’s quality, it’s probably in their interest to wait this out a bit. While no one knows how far the talks actually got earlier Monday, we do know the two teams were talking about the framework of a deal.
And thus ends a very manic Monday.