According to Andy McCullough, the Dodgers are prepared to make a serious run at Aroldis Chapman.
As we've mentioned before, the Dodgers are also expected to make a dedicated pursuit of Aroldis Chapman.— Andy McCullough (@McCulloughTimes) November 8, 2016
While this makes sense on the surface, as the Dodgers have a significant amount of money, and Chapman is one of baseball’s most dominant relief pitchers, it’s strange given that nearly one-year ago, Andrew Friedman turned down a deal to acquire the flamethrower.
After reportedly agreeing to a deal with the Cincinnati Reds, a report from Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports revealed that Chapman had been involved in a domestic violence incident, in which he allegedly choked his girlfriend, and fired “eight gunshots in the garage of his Miami home”.
These allegations directly caused the Dodgers to put the deal on hold, and ultimately back out of it completely. The facts of the case have not changed, and neither has the front office for Los Angeles; which makes their interest in Chapman rather strange.
If acquiring him in December of last year was off the table due to his domestic violence charges, why is Friedman willing to add the closer to his team now? The likeliest, and most unfortunate answer, would appear to be that time heals all wounds, and the rage directed at Chapman has quieted considerably. That’s not to say that he’s been forgiven, as a significant number of fans continue to rail the reliever, but rather that many have simply moved on from the incident.
Adding Chapman now would certainly cause an uproar in some segments of the Dodgers’ fan base, but the reaction wouldn’t be nearly as strong as it would have been had Friedman gone through with his original trade. Los Angeles can certainly afford to add Chapman, the question that will ultimately need to be answered is whether or not they want to bring him and his troubled past to their team.