Thursday we learned that legendary baseball writer Peter Gammons was being barraged with news that Cincinnati Reds closer Aroldis Chapman was on the brink of being traded, and we connected the dots to assume it was the Boston Red Sox doing the tire-kickin'.
Later that day, we heard from Ken Rosenthal that, in fact, Boston did have a sincere interest in Chapman, though nothing appeared to be imminent at the time.
Sources: #RedSox doing background work on #Reds’ Chapman. Indicates sincerity of interest, not that a deal is close.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) November 12, 2015
Rosenthal added to the intrigue around a potential trade of Chapman on Thursday evening when he suggested that the Houston Astros - who had inquired about Chapman at last July's non-waiver trade deadline - would, in theory, still be interested in adding an elite closer to their playoff-caliber squad.
Reasonable to assume that #Astros again want Chapman or Kimbrel. SD hard to predict, but likely willing to move Kimbrel for big return.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) November 13, 2015
For the record, the Reds couldn't have asked for two better franchises to be interested in what's quite possibly their most attractive trade piece, since both franchises lay claim to some of the best talent in the game. In fact, after the July deadline, MLB Pipeline's Jim Callis ranked Boston's farm the single best in all of baseball, while the Astros checked in eighth (thanks in large part to their bevy of rookies that had just graduated since the last time they'd put together system rankings). FanGraphs took a more statistical route to rank baseball's farm systems (imagine that), and Tony Blengino had Houston second and Boston sixth.
As for the rest of the Reds currently standing on the trade block, there's been little to pass on since the boring concept of swapping Brandon Phillips with Aaron Hill that was reported two days ago. It's still likely that Todd Frazier and Jay Bruce will need to join Chapman in sleeping with a packed suitcase over the coming weeks, but it may well be the case that Walt Jocketty & Dick Williams use the GM meetings to lay groundwork and wait until December's Winter Meetings to finally pull the trigger on any deals. Remember, it was at those meetings one year ago that Walt dealt both Alfredo Simon and Mat Latos during a week that saw dozens of moves go down league-wide.
We'll keep you posted on any activity as it comes. For now, though, enjoy your TGIF.