Aroldis Chapman is heading in the wrong direction

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Reds’ flamethrower Aroldis Chapman was sent down to AAA because he couldn’t locate the strike zone.  Well, his control improved a tick once he went down to Louisville, but it came at the expense of his stuff, because he got tattooed there: nine hits and seven earned runs in 4.2 innings.  As a result, the Reds have now sent him down another rung to Double-A Carolina.

I’m somewhat torn about this. On the one hand, I want to see him succeed, because he has crazy heat and that’s cool.  On the other hand, if he continues to struggle he might eventually end up with the Dayton Dragons, and that’s not very far from me!

Astros talking to Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole about extensions

Justin Verlander
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It’s extension season and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Astros — who already agreed to an extension with Alex Bregman — are discussing contract extensions with Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole.

Funny thing about Verlander, by the way: when he got his current $180 million deal, most people fell into the “oh, there’s an overpay!” column. What’s more, this past winter, when everyone was talking about how bad it is to give guys big long term deals, Verlander’s name was notably absent in the conversation despite the fact that his deal has turned out to be quite good. I suppose that says something about how good the anti-long-term deal folks are at cherrypicking.

That being said, Rosenthal says “it would be an upset” if either Verlander or Cole signed extensions. I can see that. Verlander is locked up this year and has a vesting option for 2020, and a lot can happen in a year or two. Cole is a Scott Boras client and Boras clients tend to hit the market rather than sign extensions. Perhaps their former teammate, Dallas Keuchel‘s, terrible experience on the free agent market this winter will alter that calculus. Hard to say.