NASHVILLE — The Dodgers and Cincinnati Reds have agreed on a trade that would send pitcher Aroldis Chapman to Los Angels for a pair of unknown prospects, according to reports Monday. Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com was first with the news.
Update (7:30 p.m.): An MLB investigation into allegations of domestic violence against Chapman have put the trade proposal on hold. Yahoo! Sports was first to report the news. Read more here.
Chapman, baseball’s hardest thrower, has averaged 36 saves a season each of the last four years for some struggling Reds teams. He has a 2.17 ERA, 146 saves and a whopping 546 strikeouts in 319 innings pitched in his career.
In Chapman and Kenley Jansen, the Dodgers would have arguably the best right-handed and left-handed closers in the National League. The question of how to use the two, both of whom are in their final years of salary arbitration, would present an enviable problem for any team.
Update (12 p.m.): Based on what I’ve heard from baseball sources today, I don’t believe either Grant Holmes or Jose De Leon will be part of the package going to Cincinnati. The trade has yet to be completed so the names still have time to change, but that would affirm a tweet earlier today by David Vassegh of KLAC (570-AM) that no Dodgers pitching prospects are involved in the deal. That would also rule out Julio Urias, the Dodgers’ top prospect.
If the Reds are interested in position players and the Dodgers don’t include any players on the 40-man roster, the names to watch include Single-A first baseman Cody Bellinger or outfielder Alex Verdugo, or Double-A catcher Kyle Farmer.
If other teams become involved the trade, the names are only more likely to change. That’s entirely possible:
CINCINNATI — Adrian Gonzalez left the Dodgers’ game against the Cincinnati Reds with a right knee contusion. He was replaced in the bottom of the fifth inning by Scott Van Slyke and is day-to-day, according to the team.
Gonzalez appeared to foul a pitch off his knee in the third inning against Reds pitcher Anthony DeSclafani.
Gonzalez leads the Dodgers with 24 home runs and 74 RBIs this season. He was 0-for-2 in the game when he was removed and is batting .247 in the month of August.
CINCINNATI — Prior to today’s game against the Reds, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly talked about sitting Kiké Hernandez for the first time on the eight-game road trip, what it would mean to sweep the three-game series against the Reds:
He also discussed the “sense of urgency” message propagated by Clayton Kershaw on Sunday, which seems to have carried into Cincinnati:
A.J. Ellis smiles as he jogs to the dugout after hitting a two-run home run off Cincinnati Reds pitcher David Holmberg in the fourth inning of the Dodgers’ 7-4 win Wednesday. (Associated Press photo)
CINCINNATI — When the Dodgers play the Cincinnati Reds they tend to play like they did early this season; beyond that, their bullpen seemed to be evolving in a 7-4 win Wednesday. The box score is here.
Prior to the game, Chase Utley took ground balls at third base.
CINCINNATI — Chase Utley might not play third base anytime soon for the Dodgers. Fact is, he doesn’t know if or when that will happen at all.
But if every journey begins with a single step, Utley is maybe a couple steps closer to playing third base than he was when he joined the Dodgers a week ago. Third base coach Ron Roenicke hit ground balls to Utley at third base, with bench coach Tim Wallach watching closely and Don Mattingly receiving the ball at first base, for less than 10 minutes before Wednesday’s game.
“It went fine,” Utley affirmed. “That’s my first time taking ground balls over there in probably a few years. It was short and sweet. Just talked with Wallach a little bit about his ideas on playing the position. Made a few throws. We’ll continue to make progress.”