The Nationals and Reds have discussed a trade that would send closer Aroldis Chapman to Washington, according to a report from Jon Morosi of FOXSports.com. Morosi noted that the talks are "very preliminary", and that no deal is close.
Washington is known to be looking for late-inning relief help on the trade market, as Morosi reported earlier today, despite having Drew Storen as a proven option at the end of their bullpen. The team acquired reliever David Carpenter from the Yankees in a minor deal earlier in the week, and will likely keep trying to improve their bullpen, which ranks 21st in the major leagues with a 3.66 ERA.
The Reds currently sit 11.5 games behind the Cardinals in the NL Central, and may soon begin to aggressively sell pieces in advance of the July 31 trade deadline. The team recently lost shortstop Zack Cozart for the season in what may be a final blow to their playoff hopes, potentially leading to a fire sale in which Chapman, Johnny Cueto, Mike Leake and Jay Bruce could all be dealt.
Chapman, 27, has been one of the most dominant closers in baseball since breaking in to the league in 2010, saving 125 games and posting a 2.31 ERA in his first six seasons with Cincinnati. He will draw interest from plenty of contenders looking to add bullpen help on the trade market, and is especially valuable as a player who is not eligible for free agency until after next season.