Texas Rangers Trade Targets: Bullpen
Jun 16, 2015; Detroit, MI, USA; Cincinnati Reds relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman (54) pitches in the ninth inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Cincinnati won 5-2. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Chapman is certainly the biggest name that has come up this season as a potentially available bullpen arm. He is having another strong year, boasting a 1.95 ERA with 15 saves in 32.1 innings pitched. Chapman has an incredible 15.59 K/9 and is most known for his fastball which has topped out at 103.1 mph this season and which he throws 76% of the time. The main concern for Chapman is his walks which have jumped up to 5.29 walks per nine innings, nearly a full walk more per nine innings.
Chapman will be a free agent after the 2016 season and will likely command a large contract that could surpass that of the $10+ million that pitchers like David Robertson and Joe Nathan are making. Even if the Rangers do not want to get into that contract race for Chapman, having him for the rest of 2015 and 2016 would be beneficial enough.
In order to get any player via trade, the opposite team will likely start any conversation with Joey Gallo and Chi Chi Gonzalez. At this point, with those two already making it to the majors I do not see the Rangers looking to move either of them for somebody they would not have for long. The conversation could then move to players such as Nomar Mazara, Jorge Alfaro, Jake Thompson, and Nick Williams. The Reds will likely ask for two players from this list and another player who is a little further down the list such as a Josh Morgan, Alec Asher, or Jerad Eickhoff type player. If this is the case, I would be satisfied moving two of those and a lower tier prospect for Chapman who has been one of the top closers in the game for a couple years.
The problem comes in that it is not well known if the Reds are even going to be dealing Chapman and therefore the cost could be much higher to pry him away than what I listed above. If the cost jumps to three of four top guys listed than it would be hard to justify that much movement for a relief pitcher, even one as good as Chapman.