Aroldis Chapman is preparing as if he’ll move into the starting rotation this season following two-plus years in the bullpen, but the Reds still haven’t made a final decision on his role.
“I’d like to decide soon and get my team together,” manager Dusty Baker said, via John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer. “I don’t like having guys in the middle. That’s a bad situation when you’re in the middle of anything. An unknown. Then everybody else is in an unknown situation.”
Baker noted that Chapman went through something similar last spring before eventually moving into the closer role and saving 38 games with a 1.51 ERA.
As for who, exactly, will be making the final decision on Chapman? Baker says “the decision is not only mine, it’s ours … but I got my opinion.” And if the manager gets his way Chapman will remain the Reds’ closer.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Orioles and Mets have discussed a trade for Matt Harvey.
Rosenthal says the discussions have involved a reliever going back to New York and observes that that Harvey and Brad Brach are projected for similar salaries in their final arbitration years which could make a financial match.
There have been a handful of Harvey rumors over the past couple of days, with a report coming out yesterday that the Mets have spoken with at least two teams about their fallen ace. Jon Heyman said today that the Rangers may have been one of those teams. Maybe the Orioles are the second or, perhaps, the third?
All if this has to be pretty deflating if you’re a Mets fan, given the promise and dominance Harvey showed before injuries waylaid him the past two seasons. Harvey is still just 28 but he made only 18 starts and one relief appearance last year, posting a 6.70 ERA with a 67/47 K/BB ratio in 92.2 innings.
If the Mets can’t find a trade partner this winter, they’ll clearly hope for him to rebound at least a little bit in 2018, allowing him to regain some trade value.