With the winter meetings looming, the Los Angeles Dodgers could be gearing up for a trade, as reports have the team talking about Aroldis Chapman with the Cincinnati Reds. The Dodgers and Giants are also reportedly targeting Hisashi Iwakuma, while Darren O'Day and Ryan Madson are reportedly close to signing new contracts.
According to Ken Rosenthal at Fox Sports, the Dodgers are "in talks" with the Reds about Chapman and could acquire the closer for a package of "prospects" from their minor league system. Chapman has been one of the top trade targets on the market this offseason, as the Reds have made it clear they are interested in trading the closer, who will be a free agent after next year. The Reds have reportedly talked to teams about Todd Frazier and Jay Bruce, but Chapman is the most likely to get moved of the three.
The Dodgers did not retain Zack Greinke this offseason and now the team could consider using that money elsewhere, including on Chapman or a free agent like Johnny Cueto. Chapman is a hard-throwing closer with a high strikeout rate and he will make over $8 million in salary for the final year of his contract. Chapman has been connected to the Astros and Blue Jays as potential landing spots for a trade and things could happen for the Reds this week at the winter meetings.
The Dodgers are also expected to target another starter and Hisashi Iwakuma has come up as a pitcher the team could go after. According to Ken Rosenthal, the Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants are expected to go after Iwakuma, while the Seattle Mariners are hoping to retain the pitcher. Jon Heyman at CBS Sports writes that Mike Leake and Johnny Cueto also are potential targets for the Giants and the Dodgers.
Iwakuma has been a consistent starter over the last two seasons for Seattle and he comes into free agency after going 9-5 with a 3.54 ERA in 20 starts last year. Iwakuma previously has finished as a Cy Young finalist in Seattle and last season he had only 21 walks over 129 innings pitched. Iwakuma was limited last season with a finger injury.
Other free agent news and notes:
There were media reports over the weekend that the Baltimore Orioles agreed to bring back Darren O'Day, but later the pitcher refuted those reports, calling them "premature.". Jon Heyman at CBS Sports reports that there is an agreement, but that the physical has not yet been completed.
Another reliever has reportedly signed with Jerry Crasnick at ESPN reporting that Ryan Madson has agreed to a deal with the Oakland Athletics. Crasnick reports that the deal is a three-year, $22 million contract. Jon Heyman reports that the team is signing the pitcher to a four-year deal worth $31 million.