The Cincinnati Reds have one of the most interesting questions in all of Major League Baseball this offseason: What should the team do with phenom Aroldis Chapman?
It has been debated since the left-hander signed with the Reds before the 2010 season, but the team has yet to settle on a role for the pitcher.
There is no question that Chapman is the most exciting pitcher in baseball. His fastball-slider combination is nearly unhittable, and he has finally learned how to control his fastball. As long as he occasionally mixes in the slider, he will keep hitters guessing.
After becoming the closer in May, he saved 38 games for the team despite missing part of September with a tired arm. He was the most dominant pitcher in the game for most of the season out of the bullpen.
Cincinnati is yet again flirting with the idea of making Chapman a starter. Halfway through his contract, the phenom may need to adjust to a new role in 2013.
Moving to the starting rotation will force Chapman to slow down his fastball in order to stay in games, which will make his pitches more hittable. Also, a move to the rotation will most likely end up with Chapman having a Stephen Strasburg-like dilemma. Would the team limit his innings or let him pitch all season?
If there is an innings limit on Chapman, that leaves one or two seasons of losing him as a starter for a full season. The team would basically be developing him as a starter and helping whatever team signs him at the end of his contract.
Cincinnati may look to acquire pitchers in order to keep Chapman in his current role.
In no way am I saying these pitchers will be linked to the Reds. However, these pitchers are a few of the affordable options to help keep Chapman as the closer.
With all of the free agent pitchers or teams looking to trade starters, who should the Reds look at acquiring to ensure Chapman remains the closer?