Cincinnati Reds Rumors: Aroldis Chapman Drawing Interest From Red Sox

Trade rumors continue to swirl around the Cincinnati Reds amid reports that the team is willing to listen to offers on anyone on the team in a rebuilding/retooling effort.

On Wednesday, it was reported that the Reds and Arizona Diamondbacks have discussed a deal that would potentially send Brandon Phillips out west.

Today, reports emerged on the player who is widely thought to be the most highly sought after asset the Reds have: flame-throwing closer Aroldis Chapman.

MLB Network’s Peter Gammons reported that several sources have told him Chapman could be traded by the end of the upcoming weekend.

Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal says the Boston Red Sox have shown interest in the Cuban southpaw and have done background work on him, though no deal is close to being agreed upon.

Boston has had a solid closer in Koji Uehara, who starred during the club’s World Series run in 2012, but he’s now 40 years old and coming off of a fractured right wrist that ended his season in early August.

The Red Sox would make an interesting trade partner for the Reds. They have one of the best farm systems in baseball, ranked No. 2 by Baseball America before the 2015 season, and they could be willing to part with several top prospects given their need for a pitcher to solidify the back-end of the bullpen.

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Regardless of where he winds up, Chapman could bring back the biggest haul of any Red who is traded this offseason (unless Joey Votto or Todd Frazier are dealt). The team’s asking price at the trade deadline was said to be incredibly high and if new general manager Dick Williams can find a team desperate enough to acquire one of the most dangerous pitching weapons in the game, the Reds could be looking at a handsome haul in return.

That being said, the club likely won’t be able to ask for quite as much in exchange for Chapman now as they could at the trade deadline because whoever acquires him will be getting him for only one year instead of an additional two months.

In addition to retooling the Reds’ farm system, trading Chapman would also save a considerable amount of money in 2016. He’s eligible for arbitration for the final time and should get a hefty raise over the $8.05 million he made this season.

Trading the left-hander away is a move that won’t go over well with some fans, but it has become necessary with the current state of the Reds. There’s no way the organization could afford to re-sign him after he becomes a free agent and with the team not expected to compete in the coming year, having a closer as dominant as Chapman would be essentially like having a Ferrari that is just left sitting in the garage.