It’s the morning after infamy.

Everyone associated with the Cincinnati Reds – from the owners, to the front office, to the players, and yes, the fans – has to be struggling with implications of Jeff Passan’s (Yahoo) bombshell report last night about Aroldis Chapman and an allegation of domestic violence.

The incident occurred at the end of October. It involved the assertion that Chapman choked his girlfriend and fired his gun in an otherwise empty room. Based on the police report, we know Chapman denies the first part and admits the second. He was not arrested or charged by the police.

Unfortunately, the resolution by the criminal justice system is merely the beginning of the sad and troubling issue.

Did the Reds Know?

Separate from the question of whether Chapman is guilty of the allegations is how the Reds handled the situation. The worst-case scenario, indeed, would be if the Reds knew about the Chapman incident and were trying to trade the relief pitcher before the news broke. Alex Speier (Boston Globe) reported that the Red Sox learned of the incident in their background check during trade negotiations with the Reds in November. Did they inform the Reds what they learned? There’s nothing in the Globe report to indicate one way or the other.

The Reds have indicated they didn’t know until yesterday.

It’s tempting to assume the worst. The Reds’ silence regarding the Alfredo Simon case showed a regrettable lack of concern with the issue of domestic violence. Yes, they traded him. But sweeping the Simon issue under the plush green sod at GABP has cost them the benefit of the doubt.

On the other hand, it really is hard to believe the Reds knew. The simple fact is they could have traded Aroldis Chapman any time in the past few weeks. We know there were offers dating back to the GM meetings a couple weeks ago, likely before that. It’s difficult to imagine the Reds waiting a minute longer than necessary to move Chapman once they learned of the incident. If it turns out otherwise, and the Reds were trying to pull a 105-mph fast one on other organizations, they aren’t worthy of our support.

Also (and this is patched together based on inference from rumors) it appears that the Reds could have approved the trade with the Dodgers earlier in the day. The Reds maintain the initial source of the delay was that it wasn’t finished, not the domestic violence report. That makes sense considering sources from the Dodgers organization were indicating during the day that their impression was the deal was finalized. According to this timeline, it was later in the day when the disclosure of the report put the trade on hold.

The MLB Investigation

If you listened closely last night, amidst the groans of disappointment and the sounds of rending best-laid-plans, you could discern a sigh of relief from the Reds front office in Nashville. They quickly and correctly indicated the investigation and punishment of Chapman was now in the hands of MLB.

In August, Major League Baseball and the Players Association agreed on sweeping new powers for the league to punish players found to be involved in domestic violence, sexual assault and/or child abuse. MLB has taken on the Chapman case.

A broad range of steps – not just suspension – is available to the league.

Players may be required to submit to psychological evaluations, attend counseling sessions, comply with court orders (including child support orders), relocate from a home shared with his partner, limit his interactions with his partner, relinquish all weapons, and other reasonable directives designed to promote the safety of the player’s partner, children, or victims. Players who fail to comply are subject to discipline from the Commissioner. All information is to be kept confidential. (emphasis added)

It may prove difficult for the league to punish Chapman. The incident was investigated by a dozen police officers. No charges were brought. No arrests were made. There was no physical evidence at the time. There will likely be no adverse witnesses against Chapman. On what would MLB base their suspension?

Yes, baseball’s new policy does allow the league to punish players regardless of whether the player is convicted or pleads guilty to a crime. But that doesn’t explicitly address the situation where the player isn’t charged with a crime at all.

Jose Reyes is the first player to be investigated under the new policy. Unlike the case with Chapman, Reyes was arrested and charged with abuse of a family member. Baseball hasn’t yet determined the extent of his discipline.

Whether they bare their teeth against Reyes and/or Chapman, you can bet MLB will be eager to show their new domestic violence policy has bite.

Given the wide range of actions available to the league, I expect them to focus their punitive approach to Chapman on the gun issue – because Chapman has admitted to that part of the story. Ordering counseling, turning over his guns and limiting Chapman’s contact with his ex-girlfriend would put the league on the most solid ground. The last thing they want is to lose an early case on appeal (see the NFL and Tom Brady).

Trading Chapman

It’s a safe bet that no trade will take place during MLB’s investigation phase, although that isn’t mandated by league policy. No team will be willing to take on Chapman until the league has ruled.

Even if Chapman is mostly exonerated – punishment limited to guns issues – the market for him has changed. The Dodgers can walk away from yesterday’s deal if they want to. It would be easy to understand them looking for other bullpen options. The Reds will have other suitors, offering their respective buckets of balls. If the price gets low enough, the Reds may eventually find a trade partner.

Even if Chapman is cleared, a trade may have to wait until Spring Training to put to rest concerns that Chapman hurt his pitching hand in the incident.

But if Chapman is disciplined severely by the league – say, they reach the conclusion that Chapman did attempt to choke his girlfriend – Chapman will become toxic and impossible to trade before he reaches free agency.

Chapman’s Career Earnings and Service Time

The incident will have a profound effect on Aroldis Chapman’s baseball career earnings, whether or not he’s punished by MLB. Yes, America is a forgiving place and most people are given a second chance. As long as he can throw 100 mph, some team will hire Chapman.

But it’s hard to see a front office agreeing to a long-term deal with a guy who goes into a room alone and shoots a gun eight times. That temperament doesn’t scream nine-figure contract.

Baseball’s new domestic violence policy does not come with a minimum or maximum suspension length. If the league decides to make an example out of Chapman and hits him with a long suspension, he may not play enough days for the Reds to reach six years of service time. (Jon Paul Morosi)

Chapman starts the 2016 season with 5 years, 34 days of MLB service time. Players must reach 6 full years of service time to become a free agent. A 50-game suspension would prevent that. Chapman would still be under Reds’ (or any trade partner’s) control through 2017.

After Aroldis

Considerations related to Aroldis Chapman will be put on hold for several weeks while MLB conducts its investigation.

Aroldis Chapman is just one player in the organization – one the Reds weren’t counting on in their 2016 plans anyhow. Yes, it’s a blow to not receive the prospects in return. But that possibility is now behind them.

The Reds front office has to pull up their stirrups, regroup and get on with the rest of their After Aroldis plans.

183 Responses

  1. Redsfan48

    I saw the police report in an article, and there’s good news for the reds and chapman. Doesn’t look like there’s any legit proof he did anything wrong. Sounds like the Kurt Busch incident if anyone follows NASCAR, conflicting stories and no evidence led to him being ruled innocent. I really hope Chapman gets through this, he could be the best closer of all time and I don’t want to see one stupid mistake ruin that.

    • Westfester

      He’s already been cleared by the authorities. There’s no physical evidence of Chapman choking her. This falls under the dreaded “conduct detrimental to the league.” I’m sure the league doesn’t like the sound of Chapman going into his garage and popping off 8 rounds, just to blow off some steam. Whether it’s his right or not, that doesn’t sound good in news articles.

  2. redleg75

    Let us make him a closer instead of Randy Johnson 2.0. Then wait too long to trade him for even jose deleon, a potential 3-4 starter. Then keep him after the domestic stuff smoothes over and end up with a draft pick (mid first round !). Worst case scenario, yes. At least we got to watch him throw fast.

  3. redslam

    Good article, as always. Surely this changes nothing, as you said – at least in terms of Reds planning and execution. The only implication is that the likely return for Aroldis goes down, probably in between the first round compensatory pick they would get and what the Dodgers offered.

    • Frogger

      I don’t agree that his value has gone down. Other teams will use this as leverage if you let them. If they only offer something a little more than a pick then just keep him until the deadline. You will get more from a contender after he dominates the first couple of months in a walk year. Sky isn’t falling people. All about timing.

      • redslam

        Not sure that logic follows. Then why trade him now at all? I think the calculus is that contenders NOW will pay more for full season vs. last few months… not to mention the specter of “off the field issues” derailing his career in the future. I really see no upside at all. Maybe they get the same trade the Dodgers offered, but I wouldn’t be surprised at all if the return is now diminished.

        As you say, the sky isn’t falling – one prospect rated 30-40ish isn’t so terribly different than the draft pick they get (not sure about the second prospect)… the biggest difference would be the time horizon to MLB ready player.

        I’m more upset about the overall PR hit and mounting data re: our management team and what effects it might have on other potential deals (probably none, but I do worry). And the fact I was looking forward to at least some glimmers of future hope with some new shiny prospects =)

      • ManuelT

        One thing is that we don’t yet know who will be a contender. As with Cueto, we could get a good haul for him at the deadline but only if he does his part and dominates as usual.

      • Frogger

        There area couple positive scenarios that could develop. Manuelt identified one. The other is that the season doesn’t start for nearly 5 months. You have time. Worst thing they could do is overeact at this time of uncertainty.

  4. MrRed

    Good synopsis, Steve. And yes, the Reds had better pull up their stirrups and regroup their offseason plans. Nothing will be decided about Chapman’s fate in the near future. They’ve got to refocus on who and if they will trade anyone else.

    But, as a Red’s fan, I’m forced to tuck this incident in my cap as another potential example of mismanagement and decision-making (recognizing, of course, that we don’t have all of the facts about this issue). Looks like our stoves aren’t going to be quite as hot this winter…

  5. Frogger

    Don’t see a need to panic. Likely everyone in MLB front offices new this was out there. It was leverage for other trade partners. Don’t panic. Once this is resolved and chapman shows he is healthy then trade from a position of more strength. Reds taking right approach. Chapman wasn’t charged. No evidence of abuse. Let the investigation run it’s course. 50 game suspension is best case scenario for Reds. Gives another year of control from what was said above.

  6. Jeremy Conley

    If the police didn’t find enough evidence to charge him of anything, I can’t see Chapman being suspended at all. I do think Steve is right that MLB will probably (and should probably) use their new powers to get Chapman into counseling, and they may have to force him into that by threatening him with suspension if he doesn’t comply.

    I’m very curious about what the Reds knew and when, but in the end I don’t think it will have a huge impact. As long as Chapman’s hand is fine and he isn’t going to be suspended, I think the Reds will still be able to trade him. His value went down yesterday, for sure though.

    It’s hard to say what the return will be now, but I’m guessing the quality of prospects the Reds will ultimately get for him just took a dip. In the end though, I think the Reds will just be glad to be done with it all. It’s sad, but getting the best arm in baseball really turned into an ordeal for the Reds. The combination of their bad management, their wishy-washy approach, and his obviously volatile personality was not a good mix.

    • RedsFaninPitt

      The reckless firing of 8 shots from his gun in and around his home – which he has admitted to – may warrant some suspension in the leagues mind.

      • greenmtred

        Maybe, but this a country in which Presidential candidate attempt to establish their bonafides by shooting.

      • sixpacktwo

        It may not be reckless, as shooting a Gun into a couple bales of hay or even in your backyard is not a crime. In my garage I would not want to pay for the damage but if you are a millionaire what is a few thousand dollars. Or for a few thousand you can build a shooting range in your garage.

  7. sultanofswaff

    I almost think a 50 game suspension would be the best outcome. In effect, it would be a do over for the front office. The Reds could flip him at the deadline for maximum value, a much better return than they would get this offseason, and the acquiring team would have two stretch runs to utilize him.

    Wouldn’t that be the dumbest luck of all???

    If I were Castellini, I’d be calling the commish and asking them to throw the book at Aroldis!

    • redslam

      I did perversely consider this outcome and agree – but based on all the information, it does rather seem like suspension is unlikely.

      • gaffer

        The real problem is that MLB will waste months investigating, THAT will decrease his value.

    • sixpacktwo

      NO CRIME WAS COMMITTED, so I think the union and a lawyer would get involved very quickly. Maybe they could get him to accept consoling.

  8. WVRedlegs

    MLB will be in a difficult position with this Chapman. MLB should wait to have a more open and shut case to sell their domestic violence policy on. Any suspension, I assume, can be appealed to an arbitrator. This one has the potential to really backfire on MLB, if they were to push it.
    No arrests. No indictments. No binding anything over to a grand jury. A big caveat in Chapman’s favor, the Florida DA who declined to prosecute on a lack of evidence is a woman. I am sure if she had any sentiment in the victim’s plight, or had any belief in the victim’s story, charges would have come the next day for Chapman. This should not be overlooked in the totality of the event.
    Davie, FL is a town of 96,000 residents. It isn’t some backwater Everglades town. If those professional people decided that charges were not warranted, MLB has to take note. IMO, MLB will hand down some mandatory psych eval/counseling and a year of double-secret probation to serve out. And, if the Dodgers are still interested, MLB may decide that putting 3000 miles between Chapman in LA and his ex-girlfriend in Florida is a good idea.

    • UglyStrike

      My thought process exactly. No evidence and no charges would not look good to a neutral third party.

      The gun issue was obviously not a crime as no charges were filed, even with his confession. Does raise question about mental state.

      Worse case here is we keep him for next year and get a extra 1st round draft pick.

    • ncmountie1

      Good post. Agree 100%. Do we even know for sure what they were offering for him?

    • seat101

      My feeling is that there is likely no suspension. There really is little value to a short suspension and, if the facts stated are true, there’s no reason for a long suspension.

      • doctor

        “Worse case here is we keep him for next year and get a extra 1st round draft pick.”

        I disagree, what if he ends up flying off the handle again, does slap his gf, and then he has no trade value and forced by PR to release him. That’s the real worst case scenario in a strictly baseball viewpoint.

  9. Redsman

    Makes you wonder if the Nats got a whiff of Chapmania? After all, erratic behavior like this doesn’t normally happen over night. This sort of behavior may even be part and parcel of the Reds reasoning to trade a once in a generation southpaw arm.
    Regardless, another black eye for an organization that appears to be in disarray. Sad times for Reds fans…a ballyhooed CF’er who regressed last year to the point of challenging the famous/infamous Mario Mendoza as the worst hitter of all time…but boy can he run! A RF’er that for all his likeable qualities, seems to have lost interest in being “all that you can be!” A LF’er that…oh wait! We don’t have a LF’er! Haven’t had one for a while now. Nor did we had an actual regular catcher last year. (Yeah, yeah, I know this COULD be a stretch, but not much of one) And with Homer Bailey the only holdover from a once proud starting rotation and a laughable pen minus Aroldis, just WOW! Rough sailing ahead.
    I’ve seen 2018 thrown out there as a timetable for a return to…what? Contention? In this division? Not only are the Cards in this division, but the star studded Cubbies, not to mention a resurgent Pirates organization that seems to have all the good attributes we can only dream of! And the central figure of this 3 ring circus a stubborn B Castellini who insists on loyalty to individuals whose performance has sunk to a new low. All the while turning his back on long suffering, loyal Reds fans who deserve better. Looks like a loooooong season again!

    • TR

      I’m prepared for a losing season or seasons unless a miracle happens.

  10. lwblogger2

    It will be curious to see what changes there are to the Reds strategy, if any at all. Of course, since everything the org does is played pretty close to the vest, we only have hints of what the original strategy was.

  11. lwblogger2

    I got my season ticket renewal info in the mail last week. This whole mess will be one of several factors impacting my decision on renewal or non-renewal.

  12. PDunc

    On whether the Reds knew about the incident, I think it is very plausible that the Red Sox found out about it before the Reds or the League.

    An incident occurred in October where the police were called to Chapman’s home. No arrests were made or charges pressed. The incident wasn’t in the news and Chapman didn’t tell the league or team so they had no reason to know or even suspect anything had happened.

    The Red Sox performed a background check during their trade talks with the Reds in November, as I assume they would before bringing in any new employee/player and uncovered the police report.

    My first question at this point is whether the Red Sox passed the information along to the Reds or MLB back in October and if not, should they have?

    My second question is how did the story end up coming out? Did the Dodgers uncover a police report in their own background check and release the news? Did they see his injured hand during a medical exam that led them to the report?

    • WVRedlegs

      There are connections between the LAD and Boston ownership groups and front offices. While both teams have new front office GM’s and Presidents, deeper down are where the connections lie. It is surely possible and plausible to think that someone in Boston called someone at the LAD once it became evident the LAD were about to obtain Chapman and passed on a bit of information and where to find it. An old friend helping out another old friend.

    • jdx19

      Both fall under the umbrella of “violence against women,” so I think the comparison in the article was apt.

      • gaffer

        THAT IS A RIDICULOUS COMMENT, like one is better?

      • Nate

        It’s not about one being “better”, it’s about how the Reds handled that situation. Which was poor at best and sheds doubt on how truthful the front office is being about this situation.

      • jdx19

        How about you settle down and read the words?

        Why can no one in this country talk about delicate topics without flying off the handle?

        Like Nate said below, it has nothing to do with one being better. They are both despicable. The comparison made in the article was about how the REDS handle these sorts of situations. Not about the act itself.

  13. TR

    What is there to say except disappointment when the trade of Chapman seemed to be the springboard for the rebuild. I can imagine it must have been a shock for a young guy making, at most, 20 dollars a month pitching for Holguin in the Cuban League, and then to making millions with the Reds. Maybe a 50 game suspension might calm Chapman down and get his professional and private life in order, although I doubt the suspension will happen. It would also extend his FA eligibility to 2017. In the meantime if he’s healthy and pitching well, he could be traded sooner although for lesser prospects than what the Reds could have got in July.

  14. Brian

    Based on what Buster Olney tweeted that the Dodgers are simply still not sure what they want to do but it’s essentially up to them, I think that if the Dodgers can’t find a SP or another option out there then they will still make the trade for Chapman. Their trade for Chapman was essentially pushing their chips to the center of the table in the wake of losing grienke and if nothing else is out there they may take the risk regardless and either let him walk if it doesn’t work or get him for another year if there indeed ends up being a suspension.

    • DavidTurner49

      I don’t get why LA goes after Chapman after losing Greinke. Why not go after Cueto?

      • Brian

        from what i’ve heard people say, they are worried about the health of his elbow to match the price tag he wants. I’ve also heard people say that some teams may shy away from cueto because of not being able to pitch on the road in the playoffs (pirates rattling him with the cueto chantes, etc. and only doing well in KC this year).

      • lwblogger2

        Price has struggled in post-season games as well but he signed a giant deal. That may be holding Cueto back ever so slightly but probably not that big of a factor.

      • Brian

        Keep in mind that Price just signed with the same GM that traded for him in Detroit and then traded him to the Blue Jays. WJ is still with the Reds and there aren’t any teams out there with as much history on Cueto as Dumbrowski had on Price. Not apples to apples as Dumbrowski clearly has a crush on Price regardless of numbers, performance in the post season, etc..

      • lwblogger2

        Good point about Dombroski’s history with Price.

  15. RedFuture

    If there is a suspension of 50 games the Reds should firmly put themselves into the driver’s seat and demand that he convert to a starting role. Hopefully, Chapman would assume a more humble status that motivates him to please the sabotaged employer. Additionally the point may have been driven home to him that his RP vs SP status is costing him an easy 50% of his income potential. The rules may dictate that he must not use an MLB facility during the suspension, but he should be able to find a way to ready himself and stretch into a 6 inning appearances by June 1st. If the Reds can achieve this they could still come out of this the better for it. They would still get more innings from him than ever before and go into next offseason with mega SP to dangle to the bidders.

    • Chuck Schick

      There won’t be a 50 game suspension…equating 4 million in lost pay for an issue that didn’t result in an arrest or charges…let alone a conviction.

      But let’s assume that he is suspended 50 games…is it a good idea to strong arm someone who has shown this level of emotional immaturity? Do you think his agent and the players union isn’t going to fight mandating a position change during his free agent year? What kind of collateral damage would such a mandate do to the perception of the Reds amongst agents, their own players and potential free agents?

      Lastly, even if it works, he’s a free agent at the end of the year and they can’t trade him anyway. This isn’t little league.

      • RedFuture

        If he is suspended at least 34 games (I agree that it is doubtful) he will still be their property for the 2017 season. In that scenario, his status would be the same as this past winter. Furthermore, I certainly don’t mean to strong arm him. Agreed that he lacks some maturity which might make him susceptible to reverse psychology where he insists that converting to SP is his idea.

  16. Victor Vollhardt

    #1 If Boston knew(when exactly—date wise is important) and did not tell the Reds or the league may actually be the most important part of this whole issue. I know in this day and age this is not the most political correct way to look at this issue, but if they kept their own counsel and did not exercise their obligation as a MLB member organization is a real big point. Second part of #1 —how did the media find out? Was it from an MLB member (draw your own conclusion) or did the media dig it up on their own even at this late date. #2 If you are the Reds how do you make the most out of this problem? One way might be–go to his agent and make a deal for three years at between 30 to 33 mil. This would be a minor discount (he was projected to make about 12 mil in arbitration) The Reds might have to sit through a suspension (unpaid to the player) but if Chapman was out there with a three year or two and a half year (suspension) of team control he would still bring a pretty good return,. #3 If this “hand issue” (left?) is real then item #2 could not pan out—unless the contract was for a lot less than market value to make up for the down time.

    • Frogger

      You make sound points Victor, but I am not assuming the same level of set back here. Whatever happened to Chapman’s hand will be fixed by spring training. Second, his value has not diminished to require him to accept a deal you are proposing, and that same high value will allow him to bring back much more than a draft pick in trade. None of this is pretty, but this is a billion dollar industry with smart people. We also live in a society of what have you done lately. Worst case scenario he dominates in April and he headlines all the trade talk on MLB Network as the shiny toy everyone wants. If I am the Reds I simply ask two things of teams like the Dodgers. You play a lot of division games in April. What is it worth to have Chapman to possibly make or break a season? What is the value to also get a pick even if he walks? However, the concern with Reds management is one I share.

    • ohiojimw

      Add to your list, did LAD really find out on their own or were they tipped by somebody connected in some way to the BoSox?

      If LAD were tipped, unless it was due to some long standing personal friendship/ relationship; it might well suggest the BoSox had in some way indicated (to the Reds) that a character issue had been their show stopper on Chapman; and, they (BRS) didn’t want their knowledge to haunt their relationship with LAD in the future.

  17. Jordan Barhorst (@JordanBarhorst)

    Stretch him out and start him. At best, he’s cost this team two (presumably) solid prospects and the ability to shed 16M of payroll. At worst, he’s an abusive baby daddy who teeters on mentally unstable. He doesn’t get to choose whether he’d like to close or start. Now he’s a tool to be used by the organization so they can squeeze out as much of his ability as possible to try to recoup their losses.

    • greenmtred

      Of course, he’s not a tool. He’s a human, and many humans react poorly to being bossed around.

  18. Mark from NC

    “If it turns out otherwise, and the Reds were trying to pull a 105-mph fast one on other organizations, they aren’t worthy of our support.”

    Gotta disagree here…. This almost sounds like Bill Plashke nonsense on Around the Horn.

    If the Reds could have dumped Chapman knowing about his off field issues I would have no problem with it, nor should anyone else.

    The relevant term here is “Due Diligence”. The Red Sox clearly did theirs, not the Reds issue if someone else fails to do theirs.

    Put another way, there is no issue with Chapman form any legal standpoint. League rules are different that our legal authorities, and that is the relevant fact here, at least to me.

    I think it was Milton Bradley who was bat-poo crazy and didn’t believe in dinosaurs, among other things. If a team took him in trade not knowing that he was a loon, then that is on them. Chapman may be a headcase, and it may cause issues with the league. But he is clear of legal wrong doing and that is all that should matter to the Reds.

    Now that league punishment is in play and public knowledge it is all a moot point anyway…

    • wdwrolen2713

      This is just like if a team traded a player with health or medical problems without disclosing this info to other team. It does require due diligence on part of the other team, but it’s still somewhat of a bush league move. Didn’t this happen to the Reds in a trade with Washington and Bowden?

      Also, I have a good feeling the Reds did not know about the incident. Just like Steve mentions, it’s hard to believe the Reds would overvalue Chapman in a trade if they knew about this report. Besides, the Reds not knowing about Chapman’s domestic issue fits in with their history of being oblivious in the front office.

      • ohiojimw

        Besides, the Reds not knowing about Chapman’s domestic issue fits in with their history of being oblivious in the front office.

        Ignorance is no excuse but is a credible defense (in this case). I love it 🙂

      • earmbrister

        Just how exactly would the Reds know about this issue? Does YOUR employer know when you are stopped for say suspicion of DUI? Would your employer know if you were arrested for DUI?

        I don’t understand the oblivious comment.

      • Brian

        you would think that the players agent, reps, etc. would notify the team of any issues that came up as you would want to approach it together if you had to from a PR perspective to show you are in this thing together. You don’t even wait until you know whether reports will be filed or charges pressed. In addition, I wonder if Marc Antony knew about this mess before taking him on as his first client,

  19. WVRedlegs

    Always looking for the silver linings, even in dumpster fires.
    1. At least Chapman employs a driver now.
    2. The service time clock stops on any suspension, if one comes.
    3. We have to get Chapman to LA with Puig. All of the Kardashian skanks are single now. I smell a new TV reality show.

    • aktrainer

      Not really sure calling a group of women a sexually degrading term on a baseball blog is super necessary, and in fact in this case it’s not even accurate. And I am no fan of the Kardashians!

      • I Luv LA

        “Not even accurate”?? That is their badge of honor.
        Your comments are way off base. Like Brandon Phillips getting picked off 2nd base while talking to the SS. Say hello to Klohe for us.

  20. Dan

    Let’s assume in worst and we are not able to ever trade Chapman or recover prospects for him.
    That single event is not the end of the world. Do we lose potentials? Sure we do but overall I still see us having a positive gain based upon what we received from Latos, Simon, and Cueto. Let’s just pretend the Simon trade was a bust and we got a meh Trade on Chapman.

    What bothers me even more is that the Reds are sitting back and doing nothing else. We have a ton of pitching prospects that we could be trading for hitting prospects. We have Bruce, Frazier, Phillps, Hamilton, Cozart all that could be traded for prospects or bundled with or pitching prospects to next positive returns. Did the Reds go to Nashville just for Chapman? It is looking like that is the case so far at that to me is a bigger issue.

  21. ohiojimw

    From Sheldon on Twitter:

    Jocketty left impression that #reds are not close to any deals. Talked to clubs and agents today.

    This following afternoon GM briefing session.

  22. DEN

    Sorry but I don’t see the big deal here. Reds will either trade him or they won’t during this off season and either way Reds win. If they don’t then he is our closer till he is traded. Why worry about it. Also it’s only early December, until opening there is no reason to stress about the roster.

    • sezwhom

      I agree to a point. Could have gotten more for him last year but get what you can now or hold onto him until the trade deadline. Unfortunately, I don’t think we’re going to need a closer much next season.

  23. ohiojimw

    C.Trent on Twitter (same source briefing as Sheldon):

    Jocketty also said a deal here is less likely than he’d hoped when they got here, for obvious reasons

    Sounds like most all their eggs were in one basket and they are as taken aback as most of us. Of course WJ never has really multi tasked a lot which is what made the timing of the Latos/ Símon deals a bit surprising last year.

  24. Alan Pester

    Wonder if Chapman not being at RedsFest has anything to do with the Florida incident ?

    • TR

      I doubt it. Probably more to do with Chapman being more comfortable in Spanish-speaking South Florida in the off-season.

      • jazzmanbbfan

        And also the likelihood that they have been actively marketing him since the end of the season, thus didn’t know if he would be with the team by Reds Fest and, additionally since he wasn’t traded before then, they fully expected to have him dealt on the Monday or Tuesday after Reds Fest.

  25. james garrett

    The Chappy issue will take care of itself and probably in a bad way for the Reds and I understand he was priority one but its time to go on.Surely we have other needs to address.

    • lwblogger2

      Chapman would pound Papelbon to dust. He’s a better pitcher too.

  26. Dan

    At least we don’t have Dusty Baker right about now. Get a load of his riot inciting racial epitaph. If a non black person were to have said the same thing they would have burned down their stadium. I no longer have the link but google it here is the info on twitter to find it :
    James Wagner

    In this day and age this is just madness to say such a thing.

  27. RedFuture

    Reds may have had all their eggs in one basket more than you think. Could have been packaging Phillips (or others) with Chapman. So it could be a double whammy.

    • ohiojimw

      Well the Cubs have signed Zobrist and sent Castro to the Yanks, presumably to play 2B. There is a possible Phillips door closed or so it would seem.

      • ohiojimw

        Hold on. Now it is being put that Casto to Yanks is agreed upon but not final pending physicals etc. After yesterday I guess we know one thing added to then etc list.

  28. Jeremy Conley

    Well this is pretty bad news: MLB offices indicate that the league hopes to complete its look into the Chapman situation by the opening of Spring Training (Barry Svrluga of the Washington Post).

    So this isn’t going to be done anytime soon, and that probably means Chapman isn’t going to be traded anytime soon.

    • TR

      That’s two months down the road. Maybe the Reds can get Chapman out of South Florida and over in Arizona to work him up as the starting pitcher on Opening Day in April.

    • ohiojimw

      Yep, looks like anyone who thought MLB was going to do a “desk” investigation comprised of reading the police reports and witness statements then quickly “move on” was mistaken.

      I read a piece earlier in the evening that seemed to indicate that the events and alleged events happened during a party where a number of “family and friends” were present. I thought at the time that if they try to get contemporary direct statements from them, this thing was not going to be settled any time soon.

  29. [email protected]

    SIGN HIM TO AN EXTENSION NOW!!! (or at least make a real hard sell attempt!)

    His agent knows he’s toxic right now… And no matter the outcome of the MLB investigation… Chappy has lost long-term earnings potential. (A cunning GM might just understand that this is an opportunity to flip-the-script & build him into a bigger deal later!)

    Sell him on 2-3yr deal…(Buying 3rd ARB yr & only 1-2yr of FA)…Which will allow him to rebuild his name/credibility with 102MPH heaters & 15+k/9 ratio…& also get paid closer to where he should be (but well under true market value).

    (Then look to deal him at the deadline! After you’ve bought time to allow all the hub-bub to become yesterdays news!)

    Make Bruce & Frazier the primary trade pieces tfor the remainder of the HotStove meetings in Nashville….They will offer a solid return & cap space to justify Chapman’s deal. The reshaping of the Reds isn’t an over night (or 1wk) process… No need to panic, just yet. (Not when this situation may offer new exciting possibilities!)

    • ohiojimw

      Same thought about Chapman occurred to me earlier in the evening. However I really do have concerns about his emotional stability. I’d want to have a very long talk with him and his agents up front and get some kind of binding agreement in place related to training toward familiarization with behavioral norms in US culture and society and also anger management training. I would want it in writing that the latter at least was to be an ongoing process throughout the term of the contract.

    • Victor Vollhardt

      I agree on Chapman . See my post at 3:20 PM—–Don’t agree on Frazier/Bruce

  30. Tct

    Off topic, but for those that say pitching isn’t worth as much as if used to be, did you see what the Braves just got for Shelby Miller? Good lord!

    • jdx19

      One of the most lopsided trades I’ve ever seen. Miller is fine, but he’s like a slightly-better DeSclafani in my eyes… not an “ace” and that is what AZ paid for.

      • lwblogger2

        I like Miller a lot but he’s probably a #3 or perhaps a #2 starter. The return isn’t as lopsided as some people think (at least to me) but it sure is strong. Only takes one team to really want someone badly enough.

      • jdx19

        I feel it is lopsided because ATL would have made that trade, most likely, without Swanson included. Or without Blair included. Stewart included extra pieces that most likely weren’t needed. Inciarte himself projects to be worth about as much as Miller alone next year, and is under control for longer than Miller.

        They offered the same package for Jose Fernandez and got turned down, so my guess is that Stewart already had the guys traded in his head and said “who is the next guy on my list?” Or something close to that.

  31. jveith1991

    Am I the only one that is becoming a bit frustrated that the Reds’ GM(s) can’t pull off deals that other GMs can? Look at what the Padres were able to get from the Red Sox for 3 years of Kimbrel. Look at the robbery the Braves just pulled on the Diamondbacks. Don’t forget about the Cubs’ deal with Oakland for Addison Russell. The Reds management always seems to hold on to their players for too long, and then when they do get traded, it results in a lower return.

    Aroldis Chapman’s trade value is going down the drain as we wait for the MLB investigation to be completed. Todd Frazier’s value has likely diminished considerably since it was at an all-time high leading up to the 2015 trade deadline in July.

    Don’t get me wrong. The Reds’ return for Cueto and Leake certainly wasn’t bad. However, they also didn’t result in the Reds receiving any top prospects.

    • RedFuture

      Having two GMs has to make the process more sluggish than it otherwise would be.

  32. ohiojimw

    Say it ain’t so….

    Chris Cotillo just Tweeted that Todd Coffey was at the meetings looking to find somebody who would give him a spring tryout at comeback. First thing I did was check BBRef to assure myself he never made a stop in StL. He didn’t. Hope that means we are safe.

  33. James

    Reds management is becoming the new Bungals.

  34. Dante's Fire (@Dantesredfire)

    A couple of speculative observations/questions:

    1) It seems a little much to condemn the Reds’ FO as oblivious. Unless these allegations hit the front page or news wire, it seems unreasonable to expect the FO to have knowledge of Chapman’s alleged crimes transpiring 6 weeks ago. The FO has to rely on players to self -disclose at some point. That being said, it may have been prudent to run a check prior to actively shopping Chapman. May be they did, but just prior to the alleged incident.

    2) May be its just me, but something about how all this came out stinks. The allegations against Chapman didn’t come out during negotiations with the Red Sox last month. They chose to stay quiet on it which would be a reasonable unwritten rule among MLB teams. Otherwise, teams will simply tank player reputations in anticipation of trades. That is a very dirty road to go down. Did the Dodgers – however they discovered this information – release it to Jeff Passan or another source to tank Chapman’s trade value while simultaneously scaring every other suitor ostensibly for their own benefit? I guess this turns on Passan’s sources other than the police report. One would think that any number of reporters would have investigated Chapman in the last 4 weeks given his trade was all but a foregone conclusion.

    • ohiojimw

      I think it is a very real possibility that somebody inside the BoSox org was source of tipping the Dodgers. If this scenario is accurate, they were also probably the source that tipped yahoo sports unless that was LAD because of all the consternation as to why the trade was on hold.

      I disagree 180 degrees concerning teams keeping quiet about such knowledge when they have it. Any team that is aware of any such situation involving a major policy of MLB should be compelled to report it in confidence to the MLB enforcement office. If they do not; and, it is subsequently established they failed to report something, they should be treated as complicit in whatever activity took place and subject to sanctions.

      • Dante's Fire (@Dantesredfire)

        That’s a pretty stringent reporting requirement. And it would be difficult to establish or prove unless MLB is going to depose FO personnel and sift through emails with every violation that isn’t immediately reported by the player.

        I think it is reasonable to place a self-reporting requirement on the player. But, where do you draw the line on what to report? Here, the player was subject to law enforcement investigating claims with little evidence establishing a criminal violation. The local prosecutor declined to file charges for that reason. This didn’t seem like an on-going investigation either. The whole thing wrapped up in a few days. Should Chapman be compelled disclose such an allegation? When do you require self-reporting? Any time law enforcement is called? Citation issued? Arrest made?

      • Victor Vollhardt

        I agree with DANTE”S FIRE and OHIOJIMW (see my post at 3:20 PM.———–However the most important points to this story are #1 Did the Reds know about this and not mention it? #2 Did Boston sit on it period or sit on it until an opportune time to tell another team and/or leak it to the media? #3 Did the Dodger whiz kids have prior knowledge(early on their camp kept saying “we have a deal” and the Reds said “no deal is yet made) and only use it when it looked like the the Reds were going a different way? While all 30 teams compete with one another they are all equal partners in MLB and if any of the above happened then it violates the very purpose of the league(s) and all of its members.

    • jdx19

      I have a hard time believing the Reds didn’t know anything about this. The police were at Chapman’s home questioning people. It’s not like that is something easily hidden, I’d think. Of course, he wasn’t charged, but he also admitted to firing the gun… something, again, I’d think the Reds would catch wind of.

      • earmbrister

        Why do you have a hard time believing the Reds did not know? The police are not in the business of notifying employers of crimes, misdemeanors, and other matters. Apparently the press did not get wind of it. Thus, he’s like any other normal citizen. If Chapman doesn’t tell the Reds, they don’t know. If the police show up at your house, does your employer know?

      • jdx19

        If I admit to a felony, my employer knows, yes.

        I’m not saying they absolutely knew. I’m saying I have a hard time believing no one in the organization heard about it in the several weeks between when it happened and when the Dodgers found out. It’s just an opinion.

  35. Playtowin

    The Cubs parted ways with Castro and got a middle reliever and a terrible hitting back up infielder in return. The Yankees might be the big winner if Castro gets his head on straight. It is not clear any team wants Phillips.

    • jazzmanbbfan

      I don’t think I’ve seen any quotes from Phillips that he would agree to a trade anywhere either so even if someone wants him, I’m guessing chances are he will veto a trade anyway.

      • Brian

        I would run to the Mets and see what they would be willing to offer for any of Frazier, Phillips, and/or Bruce. with Zobrist off the table and not wanting to bring Murphy back Phillips makes perfect sense there. In addition if you get Frazier you could shift Wright over to first and trade Duda as he showed that he is capable of streaks but is not the solution for them. With cespedes gone Bruce could also be back ont he table. But with the middle infield situation and Frazier being a home town kid, i’m running to the Mets to see what they got to offer.

  36. Reds an

    No jveith, you aren’t the only one…like James says, welcome to the new bungles.
    And many on here have been pointing out for years how Wally keeps getting beaten to the punch on potential deals, like his failure to come up with viable options last winter until the only option remaining was Byrd. Not what we needed! Or failing to deal Chappy at the deadline and now this ‘steaming heap’ as someone else succinctly stated.
    Or watching helplessly while the Cards, Pirates, Cubbies and even Brewers continue getting better and we lose 98 games! PATHETIC! But hey, just add a couple more bobble head days to the schedule next season.
    Marge Schott, the bat boy maybe?

  37. RedAlert

    Jocketty isn’t anything more than a bunch of lip service – ” everyone available for trades ” . Yet , dude can’t seem to conduct business or match up with other teams – -HE CAN’T OPERATE IN THE MODERN ERA OF BASEBALL – Game has completely passed him by. ” Bob in his kerchief and Walt in his cap , have once again settled in for their Winter meetings nap”

  38. Dante's Fire (@Dantesredfire)

    In response to the suggestion that Red Sox personnel communicated Chapman’s alleged transgressions to the Dodgers-

    If there’s even a hint of this going on, MLB needs to shut it down immediately. It is collusion in its worse form and impugns the integrity of the game. As is now clear, the police incident report was available at some point last month. The Dodgers are responsible for their own due diligence in the matter. The Red Sox at this point had little interest in Chapman. For them to meddle in the arms length transaction between the Reds and Dodgers is wrong and anti-competitive. If they want to keep Chapman from playing for LA, they had their chance and could still possibly have made a trade for him despite the absurdity of doing so.

    • ohiojimw

      If the BoSox tipped LAD, my guess is it had more to do with some sort of personal relationship where somebody with the Sox did not want to see a friend or possibly former colleague with LAD get left holding the bag and having to live through the mess of acquiring Chapman in the midst of all of this which at some point was surely going to come to light due to the police report.

      I think the major difference between us on this issue is that I see it as an issue that transcends normal business practices and competitive considerations. The purpose of the domestic violence policy is primarily to try to curb the incidence of domestic violence. MLB is a consortium of teams who make their own rules and policies via the office of the commissioner. If the commissioner who serves at the convenience of the teams saw fit to make this policy, then the teams need to be on board in support of it. Part of that being on board means no (internal) secrecy where this issue is involved. That’s why I said previously that teams which withhold information should be considered complicit and subject to sanctions.

    • Playtowin

      The Red Sox are smart. They did due diligence on Chapman and walked away. Kimbrell is a much better deal for them. They will have him for 3 years at least and he is as good or better than Chapman. My guess is most teams knew of the Chapman problem and reduced or stopped their offers to the Reds because of it. Reds had to know about this and hoped with no charges it would be passed over. Unfortunately we know in abuse cases the women rarely file charges and athletes pass money around to shut everybody up. Chapman is a clueless, bad dude who has proven to be dangerous. It is best if all teams move and forget Aroldis. By the way in the last month, Chapman changed agents.

      • ohiojimw

        yeah, I’ve been wondering if/ how the DV incident may have figured in with the agent change.

      • Dante's Fire (@Dantesredfire)

        Your comments regarding women and abuse cases is sadly true. However, this is a multi-billion dollar business. Given the lack of charges, I’m skeptical most teams especially those offering large contracts to FAs and actively involved in potential trades with the end of goal of a WS next season will place significant emphasis on Chapman’s possible DV issues. It is certainly a bargaining chip. I think it is a significant leap to suggest most teams knew of this. Apparently, LAD didn’t until the last minute when the Reds were possibly pushing back on this deal.

  39. Playtowin

    Chapman is clueless. Bad break for thr Reds as they will get nothing of value for him. Best to put Aroldis in the rear view mirror. I can ‘t wait to see J.J. Hoover take over the closer role.

    • jessecuster44

      This was not a bad break for the Reds. This had nothing to do with luck, and everything to do with poor player evaluation and management. This was the Reds’ fault. If you know less about your own players than a competitor does, you are doing something very wrong.

    • TR

      Things happen. After Aroldis has some anger management counseling, etc., this could be the motivator for the Reds to put Chapman in the starting rotation. After the news cycle runs it’s course and MLB does whatever regarding Chapman, he will still be sought after because you don’t turn away from a Bob Feller type pitcher who throws 100+ mph.

  40. Brian

    I posted this in a thread above but just wanted to get your thoughts on why the Reds wouldn’t run to the Mets after Zobrist signed in Chicago: Seems like a fit for one or all of Frazier, Phillips, Bruce. with Zobrist off the table and not wanting to bring back Murphy, Phillips makes perfect sense and offers better D than Zobrist. In addition if they get Frazier you could shift Wright over to first and trade Duda as he showed that he is capable of streaks but is not the solution for them (shifting Wright and trading Duda has been a rumor I’ve heard for the Mets). With cespedes gone Bruce could also be back on the table – if they miss out on their other outfield targets. But with the middle infield situation and Frazier being a home town kid, i’m running to the Mets to see what they got to offer if i’m the Reds. Also, why wouldn’t Phillips approve going to the Mets, a team that just went ot the WS and will be in the thick off it for the next few years with their pitching.

    • jessecuster44

      Tried to trade with the Mets last summer and all they would give back was Zack Wheeler. Ugh. Do the Mets have anything the Reds want?

      • Brian

        that i have no idea, just seems like what the Mets are looking for is exactly who the Reds are potentially looking to deal.

      • earmbrister

        The Mets and Reds both have abundant pitching and they both are looking for offense. They’re not a very good match.

      • jessecuster44

        Yes – But the Reds need to get back something that helps them – like offense and high OBP position players.

        Zack Wheeler is not either of these.

  41. Westfester

    On the other hand, we could have the D-backs GM’s office. Just gave away their future for 3 years of a solid #2-#3 pitcher.

    • Frogger

      Gave away a Potential future for a proven player. Don’t get the obsession with kids that haven’t done anything yet in the minors let alone the bigs.

      • jdx19

        At some point, every player hadn’t done anything in the majors or minors. That just isn’t a very compelling argument, and it is used a lot.

        The fact of the matter is some amount of prospects turn into good major leaguers. If you stockpile prospects, you are almost guaranteed to get some good players.

        Also, guys labeled as “cant miss” seem to bust very infrequently. Maybe the recent success of rookies is clouding my mind, but guys who are “can’t miss” seem to be good players at least 80% of the time.

        And although Swanson isn’t a “cant miss” guy, he was the #1 overall pick and plays the premium defensive position.

      • Jeremy Conley

        You guys do understand that after all the players currently in the major leagues are retired, they are still going to have an all-star game, right? Where do you think those future all-stars are now?

        These arguments against prospects are ridiculous. They are exactly the arguments that allowed smart front offices to lap dumb ones, who would trade 4 worthless prospects for 1 proven vet.

        It’s called talent evaluation. It’s a job. Of course not every prospect works out, but people are paid a lot of money to make decisions about which prospects will and won’t. The teams that do this well look like the Cardinals.

    • jessecuster44

      Look up the definition of Prospect.

      • Jeremy Conley

        The word has several definitions and I think you are using the wrong one with your anti-minor league player arguments.

        From Websters:

        Simple Definition of prospect

        : the possibility that something will happen in the future

        : an opportunity for something to happen

        : someone or something that is likely to succeed or be chosen.

        I’ve seen you post this before and I’m pretty sure what you want people to see is the first definition, which is murky. But the way that the word prospect is used in the baseball context is actually the third definition, which is “someone that is likely to succeed.”

        That is why when you read articles on this site, or other good baseball sites, you will sometimes see a minor league player referred to as a non-prospect.

        For example, a 30 year old starting pitcher with a 4.35 ERA in AAA that is added to a trade is a non-prospect piece of the deal, which is to say that he is not likely to succeed in a meaningful way at the major league level.

      • jessecuster44

        But sometimes prospects do not succeed. Like Mike Olt, or Brandon Larson.

        I’m not anti-minor leaguers. I just temper my expectations when people think trading proven ML players for minor leagures who haven’t done a darn thing yet is a great idea.

      • jdx19

        Jesse… you aren’t getting it.

        SOME prospects will be Barry Bonds. SOME prospects will be Bryce Harper, Mike Trout, Kris Bryant, Kyle Schwarber, Addison Russell, Carlos Correa, Francisco Lindor, Noah Syndergaard, Stephen Matz, Matt Harvey, Mookie Betts, Danny Duffy etc.

        I just named 12 (if I can count) guys who have all been “prospects” in the last few years and have TORN UP THE LEAGUE. Some more than others, of course.

        Prospects pan out far more often than you are alluding to. A real “prospect” as opposed to a non-prospect are usually no worse than 50-50. So, if you get 3 prospects in a trade, chances are one of those 3 will be a good major leaguer.

        If you limit yourself to “proven” major leaguers, you never get MVPs, you rarely get all-stars. You get 2-3 WAR, average to above-average players that are great to fill a roster with, but don’t set the world on fire.

  42. Matt WI

    Dusty being Dusty… anybody else see Dusty’s comments in a recent press conference. Aroldis comments aside, he stepped right into stuff. And, let’s give points for consistency here, he called for the need to have more speed. HAVOC! Maybe we can trade Billy to the Nats. Oh wait, their general manager probably won’t be pushed around by the manger’s agenda.

    • CP

      Dusty hasn’t even managed a single game yet for the Nats and he has already had to walk back some of his comments.

    • Jeremy Conley

      I am so glad that guy is gone. MAN! In one press conference he manages to come pretty close to blaming victims of domestic violence for causing the problem and that the game needs more minority players because they’re faster.

      He also says he wants Chapman, and it may end up that the Nats are the only ones willing to give up a decent return for him because of that. At least Dusty will have done something good for the Reds at that point.

  43. WVRedlegs

    Even with this Chapman disaster, if this is the best the Reds front office can do regarding a major overhaul of the roster and the announced re-build, ownership has to step in and right this ship. Now is the time to make a clean sweep of the front office management. Bob Castellini has to take the reins back, or look for a new ownership group.
    Fire Jocketty! Fire Williams! Fire Phil Castellini TODAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Until ownership owns up the massive failures of this front office, removes these jokers, and get in some real baseball people, the Reds will be a perpetual and perennial 3-ring circus.
    Bob Castellini, you broke it, you own it!! Now fix it !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • WVRedlegs

      Now is the time for the Reds to do away with their Friends & Family Front Office model and get real baseball people in those positions.

      • MrRed

        What did Phil have to do with any of this or other baseball transactions? He’s COO for business and ballpark operations, not baseball operations. By all accounts, he’s done a fine job in improving the organization in those areas.

        I get this is just a rant but I would give Phil and Williams a pass at this point. Neither is responsible for the current woes of this team.

    • CP

      Homer: Kids, there’s three ways to do things. The right way, the wrong way and the Max Power way!

      Bart: Isn’t that the wrong way?

      Homer: Yeah, but faster!

      The Reds shouldn’t be doing things, just to do things. I think the trade market for position players is largely stalled until the big boys (Heyward, Upton, Cespedes) are signed or until teams have a good idea how much cash it’ll take to sign them. I still expect at least one big trade involving Frazier, BP, or Bruce.

  44. Greg Dafler

    If the Dodgers didn’t know about until they did a background check, how would the Reds have known about it? It wasn’t in the news until this came up and teams don’t routinely just run background checks against their own players.

    • ohiojimw

      The Reds would have known if the BoSox had told Reds why they backed away from AC. On the same day, the Dodgers supposedly found out via their own checking, the Boston Globe broke the story about the BoSox finding out weeks earlier, and Yahoo Sports had a comprehensive story up including the police support. This could be a coincidence but it certainly suggests that somebody was talking to somebody else about the situation aside from the Dodgers talking to their investigator.

    • jdx19

      If one of your main guys, who is the subject of off-season trade talks, has a lengthy discussion with police at his home, and also gives an official statement saying he fired his gun 8 times to the police, I don’t see how the Reds don’t know about it. Unless, of course, it is the norm to literally keep no tabs on your players in the off-season. I’d think the team should have some sort of employee that talks to the players in the off-season to see how they are doing and such. If so, that person would like find out about this sort of thing.

      I could be completely wrong, but the fact that he gave an official admission of guilt to a felony (firing a weapon in a residential area) seems like something the Reds could catch wind of.

      Also, I don’t see how he wasn’t charged, since he admitted to that specific crime.

      • lwblogger2

        I was wondering that same thing. Depending on what the ordinance is there, he may or may not have done anything illegal.

      • ohiojimw

        I can believe that the team may not be keeping that close of tabs. However, what about his agent?

        The players’ agents seem to function almost as life managers for many of these guys. Especially with a guy like Chapman in what is essentially an alien environment, it would seem the first person he might have called was his agent or that once he had an attorney that there would be contact between the attorney and agent (seeing has how attorneys like to be paid).

        And wouldn’t the agent inform the team? Maybe this all fits in with why Chapman recently switched agents?

      • Matt WI

        I thought about that too. If anyone, the agent knew first, because I’m sure he/they were involved in any legal consultations provided. However, the agent’s responsibility is to the client, not the team, so it would be possible the agent keeps it under wraps if they believed that was in the best interest of the client (maybe believing the whole thing would quietly go away). Now, I’d fire that agent, but it’s within the realm of possibility.

      • ohiojimw

        Chapman has in fact changed agents since the incident. Would be enlightening to know if he fired the agent or the agent fired him.

      • Victor Vollhardt

        Very good point by OHIOJIMW 12:14 PM—-

      • WVRedlegs

        It wasn’t a felony, it was a 1st degree misdemeanor.
        Florida state law:
        790.15 Discharging firearm in public or on residential property.—
        (1) Except as provided in subsection (2) or subsection (3), any person who knowingly discharges a firearm in any public place or on the right-of-way of any paved public road, highway, or street, who knowingly discharges any firearm over the right-of-way of any paved public road, highway, or street or over any occupied premises, or who recklessly or negligently discharges a firearm outdoors on any property used primarily as the site of a dwelling as defined in s. 776.013 or zoned exclusively for residential use commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

        This may be why he wasn’t charged. He shot inside the home, not outside.

      • WVRedlegs

        There is one law that would make it a felony to shoot his gun “within” a structure, but it had to be done “wantonly and/or maliciously”. I don’t see that, and supposedly neither did the police or DA.
        However, it is being reported that the Florida Brevard County prosecuting attorney’s office will take another look at the evidence and statements and review them for possible charges afterall. Stay tuned.

      • ohiojimw

        He supposedly admitted to firing one shot through a window. I’m guessing that counts as outside if inside/ outside mattered to begin with.

      • jdx19

        Touche! Thanks for looking that up. I’ll stop using the word “felony” in my posts.

        My apologies.

  45. Chuck Schick

    My guess is the Red Sox sought the advice of their legal counsel…who reviewed the MLB domestic violence policy and areas of the CBA that pertained to tampering and communications between teams-collusion- and advised them to do nothing.

    Player contracts have boiler plate language around material events…such as arrests…that must be reported. I think it’s likely that Chapman spoke to his agent who interpreted a
    ” police interaction” as a not something that needed to be reported. Where it gets murkey is that Chapman…and likely his agent…knew he was the subject to an on going investigation.

    Where it gets even murkier is that Chapman’s rights are owned by the Reds, but, his contract ended after the World Series… Making his obligations to the team even more opague.

    • Dante's Fire (@Dantesredfire)

      I think you’re spot on regarding the Red Sox seeking legal counsel regarding the issue as well as Chapman’s agent suggesting the police encounter need not be reported under the boiler plate contract language.

      However, I’m not sure that contractual reporting obligation ends at the end of the season. Why do you state as much? Are you familiar with these types of contracts?

    • Jeremy Conley

      The Reds had to tender him a contract though, so he is officially under contract with the Reds for this year. The arb process is weird, but basically, there’s a deadline (a week or two ago if I remember) where the team has to say “yes, we will give you a contract” or “you’re a free agent.” The deal doesn’t have to be done, but this is to give players a chance to sing on the free agent market if they can’t reach an agreement.

      If a team says yes, then they have until Feb. to work out a deal, and if they can’t they go to arbitration. That where the Reds are with Chapman now.

      • ohiojimw

        Jeremy, do you have any insights as to how much the Reds would be on the hook for if they took the nuclear option of waiving Chapman and he cleared waivers? The 2015 salary amount? The maximum decrease allowed from the 2015 salary under the CBA?

      • Jeremy Conley

        Huh, that’s an interesting question and one that probably doesn’t come up very often. Since teams have the option of not tendering a contract if they don’t want a guy who is in the arb phase, why would they tender a contract him and then waive him? But here we are where that’s a possibility.

        My best guess is that the Reds aren’t allowed under the CBA to waive him until they have reached a deal with him through the arb process. I can’t really see a way where it would work otherwise. The rules can’t stipulate that the Reds have to pay a contract that another team signs Chapman to, because every team would bid $1 Billion for him if they knew the Reds had to pay the whole thing. Bankrupt the Reds and get a closer for free, great deal.

        But since the Reds tendered Chapman a contract, they can’t just cut him and be off the hook entirely. That’s exactly what the rules for tendering a contract are meant to stop. So the only way I can see it working is that the Reds have to go through the process of getting a dollar value settled for the contract, and then they could cut him, and be on the hook for all of it minus the league minimum.

      • CP

        Under the new domestic policy, the Reds :may not discipline a player for a violation of the Policy unless the Commissioner defers his disciplinary authority to the Club. Any such Club discipline may also be challenged through the arbitration process.

        Chapman cannot be cut by the Reds for the incident (although presumably, he likely breached his contract by not notifying the Reds of the incident when it occurred.). Who knows if the breach is serious enough but I doubt it.

      • ohiojimw

        There was a twister last year where some guy was tendered, subsequently signed ahead of arb, then DFA’ed before spring training. That’s about the closest to this situation I can think of. If I recall correctly, he ended up being due something between a third and half of the contract amount once it was sorted out.

        And yeah if the DV policy bars the team from cutting a guy for that reason, how would the Reds be able to establish they were simply dumping their financial obligation because he was now worth less than the contract.

      • Jeremy Conley

        Any team can cut a player at any time for any reason as long as they are willing to pay him the contract. What they aren’t allowed to do is cut him and not pay him.

    • ohiojimw

      The worm here is how is it collusion for the BoSox to tell Reds they won’t do a deal because they have learned of, “character issues” with the player.

      At this point I think the BoSox are wanting to stay out of Rob Manfred’s doghouse. Whether or not they were compelled to report what they found to MLB, given the high profile of the DV initiative and policy, it was not going to go well for the Bosox if and when it came out they had prior knowledge and did not report it, especially if Chapman was subsequently traded before things came to light of day.

      • Brian

        Just seems odd that they wouldn’t have told the Reds as we all have seen Walt and Dumbrowski have a very good and close history especially lately with all the Reds/Tigers deals.

  46. lwblogger2

    Based on some analysis of the events that transpired and the timing of Tweets, I offer this possible account of how things went down the other night:

    1st – Dodgers and Reds agree on a trade of Chapman for two prospects
    2nd – Yahoo Sports writer or RedSox privately tip-off Reds about the reported domestic violence incident
    3rd – Walt Jocketty announces that “Trade for Chapman not final”
    4th – Dodgers unknowing of the domestic violence situation respond by saying that the Chapman deal not being final is news to them.
    5th – Jocketty informs the Dodgers about the domestic violence situation right around the same time the story breaks in the news
    6th – Dodgers and Reds agree Chapman trade put on hold

    That’s my best guess of what happened. Very few people probably know for sure how it all transpired.

    • ohiojimw

      I think this is a very plausible timeline and scenario given what is general knowledge at this point. Except that #2 may have been Yahoo asking WJ about the ethics of trading Chapman given the situation (Yahoo assuming the Reds knew because Yahoo had knowledge of when the BoSox knew) and did the Dodgers know.

    • RFM

      By following the same stuff here’s the slightly different timeline I see:

      1. Dodgers and Reds agree to a framework of a deal. Dodgers feel it’s finalized and agreed to, pending exchange of medical information… Reds want to continue to listening to other offers, including from the Astros, before making a final decision.

      2. Dodgers and Reds, unknowing of domestic violence situation, give conflicting reports of the finality, with Dodgers saying it’s finalized and Reds saying it isn’t. Reds see it as the Dodgers’ best offer, but unclear if it’s the best deal they can get, but intend to make a final decision that day.

      3. Dodgers background check brings their attention to domestic violence situation, inform the Reds. Controversy starts, did Reds know and try to sneak it by the Dodgers? Although logically if they were trying to do so, they’d jump on the deal rather than delay, which the Dodgers probably realize. Both sides put the deal on hold, pending investigation.

      4. Story breaks. On hold indefinitely.

      So far I haven’t seen anything to suggest that the Reds were told of the Red Sox discovery, told by Chapman, or conducted their own background check of their player, so I suspect it was dug up by the Dodgers’ investigation, and revealed to the Reds that way. I don’t understand why the Reds would not tell the Dodgers initially but still tell them later… if they wanted to sneak this controversy past the Dodgers informing them makes no sense. I think assuming that the Reds are immediately aware of everything going on in the lives of their players at all times assumes a competence we don’t normally associate with the Reds.

      • Dante's Fire (@Dantesredfire)

        I tend to agree with RFM’s timeline. I speculate the Dodgers released the story after the Reds wanted to consider other offers for the day and basically undermining any immediate demand for Chapman on the trade market.

      • ohiojimw

        This is a reasonable timeline but does not account for the fact that the Globe and Yahoo were apparently in the process of running with the story ahead of the Dodgers admitting what they knew. Perhaps Boston learns that the Dodgers are running due diligence and switched into CYA mode by leaking to Yahoo and the Globe.

  47. james garrett

    I really think the Reds knew about it but since no charges were filed they didn’t do anything.I could also see them not knowing for the same reason but what I don’t see is how something as simple as a background check brings this too light when social media is everywhere.Today if a professional athlete sneezes the world knows about it almost the second it happens but yet when a gun is fired 8 times by that same athlete,the police is called and nobody knows about it.I guess its possible but really.

  48. WVRedlegs

    What a Winter Meetings. Leave it to Jocketty et al, the Reds have to re-boot The Re-boot/Re-build.
    Big things were to happen with the roster. And Jocketty et al are just meekly walking away, into the night. This can’t be happening this way.
    Quick, stat. Somebody give Jocketty a spine transplant.

  49. TR

    Chapman’s new agent is Mark Anthony, the Latin singing star who was formerly married to Jennifer Lopez. His base of operations is Miami, so when this gets settled the Marlins could be a team where a Chapman trade could work out for the Reds. The Marlins need a fire baller like Chapman to spark their franchise. Although, with the heavy contract to Stanton, it’s unlikely they could afford Chapman.

    • Nate

      Mark Anthony’s firm, I highly doubt Mark Anthony is doing any of the negotiating.

      I have seen a couple reports and ESPN that there was maybe a 3rd team involved in Chapman, or that the Dodgers & Marlins are/we’re looking for a third in some trade talks. Maybe the 3 of them we’re trying to get something together?

      Either way I have a bad feeling about this off season for the Reds making any strides in the rebuild/retool category going forward.

      • TR

        I have no information that Mark Anthony is doing any of the negotiation, but I have read where he is Chapman’s new sports agent.

  50. CP

    Has Walt ever pulled the trigger on a major trade at the Winter Meetings?

    I know the Latos & Choo deals all occurred after and caught everyone by surprise. II’m hoping the Reds take some chances during the Rule 5 draft tomorrow and pulls some fans of this pit of despair they seem to have fallen in.

    Oh, The Pit.
    I fell in it, The Pit.
    You fell in it, The Pit.
    We all fell in it, The Pit.

    Sometimes life’s gonna get you down,
    Hit the ground running, take a look around,
    You think you found love, but you’re standing in The Pit.

    Sometimes life’s gonna get you down,
    Hit the ground running, take a look around,
    You think you found love, but you’re standing in The Pit.

    The Pit.
    Well I was in it, The Pit.
    You were in it, The Pit.
    We all fell in that Pit.

    -Mouse Rat

    • Brian

      I think that the Latos trade to the Marlins and Simon to the Tigers both happened last year at the Winter Meetings. While not major those were significant in what the Reds got in return.

      • CP

        Yep, you are correct sir. Still, seems like the vast majority of trades (not just by the Reds) occur outside the meetings.

      • Brian

        Yeah for sure, I think I remember reading an article by Gammons or Rosenthal a few years back saying not many deals get done prior or at the winter meetings but most of the ground work is laid there. I think this was right before more players started signing before the meetings and it became a much more active venue the past 2 or so years.

        In fact, I just heard Gammons say on MLBNetwork Radio an hour or so ago that he hears cespedes and someone else (can’t remember) won’t sign until late January because the market just isn’t there yet.

        Regardless its always rough when the Reds are re-booting/re-building and the pace is so slow. Plus WJ said last year that he liked how Dumbrowski described the process and then you look at what he is doing in Boston and Avila is doing in Detroit and both of those teams have flipped the script and done some really good things so far.

    • ohiojimw

      My concern is that there is a lot of activity going on at the 2nd tier. Spots where the Reds guys could land are being filled (Castro to Yanks for example and now the Neil Walker pursuit, Ian Desmond being seen as a possibility at 2B/3B/OF as well as SS etc). This could leave the Reds in a position of having to settle for less in return for the 2 or 3 guys they see as big ticket guys. It also could mean that when the dust starts to settle and the Reds look to fill out their roster and organizational depth, the leavings are going to be the kind of AAA/AAAA guys they just finished purging.

      • ohiojimw

        I guess I would just like to see some sign that the Reds could be a lot less linear and a lot more capable of multitasking.

      • DHud

        This has always infuriated me about the Reds. Why wait for everyone else to make their moves and then try to act? Instead of being proactive and making the moves the Reds want, they wait for the market to play out then when the music stops their always left without a chair

  51. Brian

    Dodgers now supposedly in on Andrew Miller, looks like they are trying to turn the page on chapman regardless of where this nets out.

    • whodeythinkgonnabeatthemredlegs

      That is official, it would appear

    • Brian

      finally something else to talk/think about