Option # 2: Aroldis Chapman
Aroldis Chapman is another well-known closer that the Astros were tied to in July trade rumors. And like the Kimbrel talks with the Padres, trade discussions with the Cincinnati Reds went nowhere. But that shouldn’t stop the Astros from asking about the hard-throwing closer again.
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But unlike Kimbrel, there is more risk associated with Chapman. The chief concern with Chapman is that he could be nothing more than a mere rental in 2016. He is arbitration eligible this offseason, and will hit the open free agent market after the conclusion of the 2016 season. This might affect the package that the Astros could offer the Reds if talks were to advance once again. However, with the Reds seemingly ready to rebuild, team president Walt Jocketty may be willing to compromise on a package of prospects to ensure that Chapman doesn’t leave only for a compensatory draft pick to return to his place.
And like the proposed addition of Kimbrel, Chapman would also be a proven flamethrower in a bullpen that needs one. If that is the primary focus, then he would be an even better option than Kimbrel in 2016. A closer that can throw a 99-100 MPH four-seam fastball that can top out close to 104 MPH and be effective is a luxury that all organizations would love to have. Not to mention he had a 29.9% strikeout-to-walk ratio in 2015 and an astonishing 40.6% ratio in 2014. For crying out loud, the guy has his own filter on Statcast on MLB.com!
Courtesy of Statcast from MLB.com
Need I say more why he should on the Astro radar?
Next: Option #3