Nationals manager Dusty Baker said earlier this week that he’d welcome Aroldis Chapman on his team, even after his recent domestic violence incident, but the team’s front office doesn’t feel the same way.
According to Chase Hughes of CSNmidatlantic.com, Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said at the team’s Fan Fest event this morning the club is no longer pursuing Chapman due to the uncertainty of the situation.
“It’s changed obviously with the allegations against him. It’s something that we’re not going to continue to go after until we find out how things have happened. It’s something that we don’t want to get into that because of the allegations against him. There are plenty of other targets that we have and we’re going to move on to those,” Rizzo said.
Chapman wasn’t arrested, but MLB is investigating the incident and could levy a punishment. However, it’s unclear when there will be a resolution about his status for the start of the 2016 season. This is why the Dodgers have backed away from the trade, at least for now.
It’s rare to see a general manager address a specific player from another team, but it’s hard to believe anybody will want to trade for Chapman at least until MLB makes a ruling. The public relations fallout must also be considered. That’s apparently where the Nationals stand. Keep in mind that Washington also hasn’t been able to find a deal for either Jonathan Papelbon or Drew Storen so far this offseason. The back-end of that bullpen is already complicated enough.
FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal and Jon Morosi reported on Thursday that the Reds are still trying to deal Chapman even with the investigation ongoing.