Sources: Reds still trying to trade Chapman as he faces possible suspension
Reds closer Aroldis Chapman is under investigation by Major League Baseball for his role in an alleged domestic-violence incident.
Yet the Reds are still trying to trade him.
The team remains in contact with clubs about Chapman, believing a deal is possible even as the four-time All-Star faces possible suspension, according to major-league sources.
One reason: A lengthy suspension could result in an extra year of team control over Chapman, who currently is on track to accrue the necessary six years of service by the end of the 2016 season.
No trade is close, but clubs are allowed to pursue Chapman while he is under investigation, sources say. The Dodgers, who were close to acquiring Chapman earlier this week, have not publicly ruled out revisiting the deal.
The Reds almost certainly would get less in a trade for Chapman now than they would have before his domestic-violence issue became public. They might be so motivated to move him, however, that they would accept a lesser return.
Players do not accrue major-league service time while serving domestic-violence suspensions. If Chapman avoids suspension or receives a minimal penalty, his new team would have him for most of 2016. If he receives a long suspension, his team could have him for ’17 as well.
Chapman, 27, will enter the season with five years, 34 days of major-league service. A full year of service time is 172 days. Thus, Chapman will need to be on an active roster or disabled list for at least 138 days this season in order to become a free agent next winter.
Strictly from a baseball perspective, then, trading for Chapman still could make sense. But any team that acquired him also would need to consider the public-relations fallout from adding a player who was involved in an alleged domestic-violence incident in October.
The incident, described in police reports obtained by Yahoo Sports, included Chapman’s girlfriend telling police he “choked” her and pushed her against a wall. Chapman, following the argument, allegedly fired eight gunshots in the garage of his home.
Chapman’s attorney, Jay Reisinger, repeated to FOX Sports what he told Yahoo – that after reviewing the facts as portrayed, “On behalf of Mr. Chapman, we vehemently deny the allegations as stated.”