The Cincinnati Reds were never quite sure what they were getting when they signed Aroldis Chapman. Was he a starter? Was he a middle reliever? Was he a closer? The Reds have gone with each of the latter since signing Chapman, and have now decided the time may be right to cap off baseball’s version of the hat trick, moving the fireballer into the starting rotation.
Of course, that depends upon the Reds signing Jonathan Broxton to a deal to serve as the team’s closer in 2013. Only that will afford them the opportunity to move Chapman into one of five slots in the starting rotation. It appears as if it is only a matter of time before one triggers the other.
The Reds and Broxton are in negotiations for a three year contract, signaling Chapman could be close to moving into the rotation. When the Reds acquired Broxton last season from the Kansas City Royals, he served as the set up man to Chapman in Cincinnati’s bullpen. But he pitched well in that role, and converted all four save opportunities when he filled in for the injured Chapman toward the end of last season. Before struggling a bit and having to settle for a deal in Kansas City, Broxton was once one of the most dominant closers in the game with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Toying with the idea of moving Chapman from the bullpen into the starting rotation is nothing new. When the Reds signed Ryan Madson to a one year contract last offseason, it was expected that he would close games and Chapman would move into the rotation to start the 2012 season. But Madson was lost for the season early on, and Sean Marshall was not effective.
Cincinnati has higher expectations that Broxton will be able to once again nail down the closer’s job in 2013, affording them the chance to finally move Chapman into the starting rotation. With the way he throws, the Reds were never truly fond of the idea of throwing him in back-to-back games in the first place. He will throw more pitches as a starter, of course, but will receive far more rest as well.
And if it doesn’t work, what have you lost? Broxton would go back to setting up Chapman as closer.
Nothing ventured, nothing gained, right?
The post MLB Rumors: Aroldis Chapman To Join Starting Rotation In Cincinnati If Reds Sign Jonathan Broxton? appeared first on Hardball Chat Baseball Blog.