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Diamondbacks Trade Rumors: Aroldis Chapman

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Are the team looking to pick up a new closer for next year?

Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports

Well. Didn't see that as a possibility, any more than yesterday's discussion about Cole Hamels. As there, however, it's hard to figure out how much smoke there is to the fire, and how much is, as Passan puts it, "due diligence." There's no doubt the team is working at improving its pitching, but I've never been a fan of trading for "proven closers"; we all saw how well that worked out with the Addison Reed acquisition in December 2013. Now, we didn't exactly overpay there - Matt Davidson has hit .208 over close to a thousand minor-league PAs since - but the price for Chapman is going to be a lot higher than for Reed.

Chapman is 27, and has a 2.23 ERA in 301 career appearances, all of them in relief. He has an insane strikeout rate of 15.4 per nine innings, easily the highest in the majors; there's less than a handful of active pitchers with 100 career innings who are even at 12.5. If you're wondering why, take a look at who has thrown the fastest pitches this year. All of them. There have been rumblings about Chapman as a starting pitcher - our sibling at Red Reporter flew that flag in April, though concluded, "There is no way in blue hell that Aroldis Chapman will ever start a baseball game for the Cincinnati Reds (or any other team, for that matter)."  So it probably seems unlikely, to say the least.

One issue going against Chapman is his contract status. He is earning $8.05 million this season, and has only one more year of control, being arbitration eligible for 2016, before hitting the free-agent market. That does seems a bit at odds with the team's stated intentions of looking for long-term control. There's always the possibility of extending Chapman, but I imagine that conversation is likely to start at around $10 million per season, and I'm not certain that's the best use the team can make of those resources.

Still: Aroldis Chapman. Have a highlight-reel.

[Hat-tip JoeCB1991 for the heads-up on the Tweet]

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