Boston Red Sox Should Not Trade for Aroldis Chapman


They will undoubtedly make some noise in free agency, but I am a firm believer that the Boston Red Sox will aggressively attack the trade market this off season. Stocked with an impressive collection of young and controllable talent, the possibilities in the trade market for Boston are seemingly endless.

With the GM Meeting right around the corner, MLB trade rumors are sure to start popping up with more regularity, but there is one rumor involving the Red Sox that is starting to gain some serious traction. They have been mentioned as a possible suitor in the past, so it should be no surprise that the Red Sox are getting connected to Cincinnati Reds closer Aroldis Chapman.

This conversation is sparked by an interesting set of tweets sent out by Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports on Thursday.

Now, rumors this time of year can come and go quickly without anything substantial happening, so take this for what it’s worth. That being said, There certainly seems to be some interest here on the Red Sox end, and in theory it makes sense.

Red Sox President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski has a history of aggressively pursuing  veteran players via trade. Dombrowski has never seemed to worry about sending prospect to help his team compete now, I expect to see more of that with him in Boston.

More from Boston Red Sox

With the Red Sox having an elite farm system, exciting trade targets like Chapman are certainly possible. That being said, is it really the best move for this team? I have a hard time thinking so.

Do not get me wrong, Chapman is great. His consistent triple-digits fastball is a thing of beauty, and makes him simply un-hittable a majority of the time. No pitcher is perfect, but when Chapman is on, there is not a better pitcher in the league. He is a massive weapon to have at the end of the bullpen.

The Red Sox could certainly use Chapman in their bullpen. The problem is, so could every team in baseball. Stuck in a loaded National League Central, the Reds are clearly heading down the path of rebuilding. With a rough couple of years likely ahead of them, they might as well capitalize on Chapman’s value while it is at its peak. I can see why the Reds are looking to sell him, but I  could also see why each and every contending team would pay the price for him.

The Reds are undoubtedly going to get a huge haul of young talent to help move along their rebuild, and few teams in baseball could satisfy their need for young players as well as the Red Sox. However, that does not mean it is a move they should make.

Sure, the Red Sox have enough impact talent in the minor leagues to handle the blow of making a major trade, but it’s not like their young talent is unlimited. Getting Chapman is going to take a significant haul that will impact any minor league system, even one as strong as the Red Sox. Once they make a deal like this, trading out of their prospect depth for another major league player becomes much less likely.

More from Chowder and Champions

The Red Sox’s bullpen is fine. There is certainly some improvement needed, but that improvement could be achieved by more minor moves that could cost much less. There is not another bullpen pitcher who they could acquire who could make as big of an impact as Chapman, but two or three strategic adds could solve all of their bullpen needs, without giving up a major prospect haul and paying Chapman’s $13 million salary.

If Dombrowski insists that the Red Sox use their young talent to make a major trade, I would much rather see it be an addition in the rotation. While there are some decent pieces, the Red Sox’s starting staff leaves plenty to be desired. They are in a desperate need for an ace at the top of their staff, and there are many interesting options available via trade.

Sure, Chapman would be a huge difference maker for the Red Sox as their closer, but why give up a huge haul for a guy who will give you 60-70 innings when a similar haul will likely get you 200+ impactful innings? Adding Chapman would be an exciting move that would undoubtedly help them win in the near term.

Next: Looking Back at 2004 Red Sox World Series Team

I would not completely hate the move if the Red Sox were still able to find an ace at the top of the rotation and fix the other holes on their roster. I just find all of that unlikely when so many resources get wrapped into a closer.

Regardless, it seems like we will know one way or another soon enough.