Many folks have looked at Aroldis Chapman's talents, the needs of the Cincinnati Reds, and his dwindling contract and posited that trading him might be something the Reds should consider, but MLB.com's Joel Frisaro took things further today when he said that it's clear the team is open to trading him. There's a definitive difference between "might" and "are," and despite it being framed from a Miami Marlins-centric perspective, beat writer news is beat writer news. Miami has long been associated in Chapman trade scenarios for obvious geographic and cultural reasons, and while Frisaro omitted the part of Chapman's complicated contract where he can opt-in to arbitration and likely get a substantial raise, there's a lot about what he opines that makes a lot of sense for the up and coming fish. Bring me Christian Yelich!
Since the Winter Meetings are forging on and most - if not all - of the major news reporters are on the move, Twitter has become a quick and dirty means of relaying information to the masses in snippets before later articles can clarify things. With that in mind, Fox Sports' Jon Morosi tweeted earlier today that the Reds and Boston Red Sox had indeed discussed a trade that would send Yoenis Cespedes to Cincinnati, but that nothing of substance has materialized on that recently. I still think adding Cespedes would be a square peg for a round hole (placed alongside several other square pegs), but this is a rumor that just won't seem to die since it's built upon obvious needs and wants that seem to match up on the surface.
Also on Twitter today was news from Morosi's Fox colleague, Bowtie McFunnypants, who hears that the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres are still hard at work on what would be a blockbuster trade including potential Reds target Matt Kemp and former Reds farmhand Yasmani Grandal. Most of you are well aware of my high hopes for Grandal, and placing him in a potent Dodgers lineup as the catcher of their future is probably the best possible scenario for him to emerge as the hitting force I believe him to be, so this is terribly interesting to me on that end. It's also the kind of return the Dodgers would need to move Kemp, not a pitcher coming off forearm surgery with $100 million bucks still left on his contract.
In NL Central news, Francisco Liriano appears to be returning to the Pittsburgh Pirates, who have splashed more cash on their rotation this offseason than in any other year (coupled with the re-addition of A.J. Burnett). With Liriano's injury history, the odds aren't great that he'll be a healthy member of the Pirates rotation for all 3 years of his deal, but if they can keep him healthy for two of those, it's likely that the overall $39 million commitment will be worth their while. The signing also renders the potential draft pick the Pirates would have received thanks to Liriano's declining of their Qualifying Offer moot.
Finally, former NL Central Bronson Arroyo hair enthusiast Jeff Samardzija returned to the Chicago baseball world overnight, this time as a newly acquired member of the Chicago White Sox. This should be of note to Reds fans, since Samardzija is entering his last season before free agency with a similar salary and scenario as Mat Latos and, to lesser extents, Mike Leake and Alfredo Simon. Talented but supremely flawed Michael Ynoa will join Samardzija in Chicago while Marcus Semien, Chris Bassitt, Josh Phegly, and Rangel Ravelo will head back to the Oakland Athletics. A rough and very rudimentary comparison to the non-Shark members of this trade: Ynoa, a hyped yet flawed former 16-year old signee who is somewhat of the pitching version of Yorman Rodriguez; Semien, a former fringe Top 100 prospect who has reached the majors after a minor league career similar to (albeit slightly younger) than Seth Mejias-Brean's (with the ability to play SS, too); Bassitt, a reliever with solid K/9 rates who ranked 15-20th on the depleted White Sox top prospect lists a year ago; Phegly, who is a baseball player named Phegly; and Ravelo, a light-power corner infielder with a solid hit tool who is a former 6th round pick. Extrapolate that to a Latos or Leake trade, if you will, and see if you're satisfied or not.