The Los Angeles Dodgers almost traded for Aroldis Chapman last offseason. Now that he’s a free agent, they have a good opportunity to sign him.
Chapman, 28, is seeking a lucrative deal. He reportedly wants $100 million. Whether or not a team will give him this amount of money remains to be seen. If there is one team in the MLB that is not afraid to spend money though, it’s the Dodgers.
Earlier in the week, the Dodgers made a one-year, $17.2 million qualifying offer to Kenley Jansen. He has been their closer for the past few years. If Jansen declines the offer like he’s expected to, he will have a chance to test the free agent market. Should this happen, the Dodgers can choose to either give him a new multi-year contract or go after Chapman.
There’s no question that Chapman is among the best relief pitchers in the MLB today. He is one of the hardest-throwing pitchers in the game. Everyone saw how valuable he was to the Chicago Cubs in the World Series against the Cleveland Indians. Between the Cubs and New York Yankees, Chapman had 36 saves in this past season. He only had three blown saves. In 58 innings pitched, he recorded 90 strikeouts.
It is unlikely that Chapman will end up back with the Cubs next season. The team is not expected to seriously pursue him due to the amount of money that he reportedly wants. A few teams have expressed interest in signing him, including the Dodgers, Yankees and San Francisco Giants.
The Yankees could try and re-sign Chapman. They traded him to the Cubs back in July. Right now, Dellin Betances is the Yankees closer. If the Yankees really want Chapman back, they could definitely sign him. The money is not a problem with them.
As far as the Giants go, they desperately need bullpen help. Adding Chapman would give them the shutdown closer that they are lacking. Earlier in the week, Chapman met with the Giants. Right now however, it’s unclear whether or not the team is willing to pay him what he wants.
With the Dodgers, money is not as much of an issue. The team had the highest payroll in the MLB last year. Even if Chapman actually wants around five years and $100 million, they can afford the hit on their payroll. What Dodgers general manager Andrew Friedman needs to do is go all in for Chapman. The team almost landed him last offseason in a trade with the Cincinnati Reds, but backed out at the last minute when domestic violence allegations against him came to light. Chapman served a suspension at the beginning of the 2016 season due to the incident.
Chapman would fit in well with the Dodgers. He has already played in big markets in his career. The pressure will not be too much for him. On the Dodgers end, it makes a lot of sense to sign Chapman. He’s a dynamic closer and a strikeout machine. The team should pay whatever it takes to get him.
If Friedman is smart, then he will try and get Chapman to sign a contract as soon as possible. The Dodgers have a great opportunity here to sign one of the best relief pitchers in the game. They need to do it before another team does.
D’Backs Slugger JD Martinez Goes Deep Four Times Against Dodgers
Last night was a historic one in LA to say the least, as Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder JD Martinez went deep four times in his team’s 13-0 crushing of the Dodgers.
Arizona’s win marked their 11th in a row. Only the Cleveland Indians (12, active) have a longer winning streak in baseball this season.
Martinez’s 4 for 5, 6 RBI performance marked the 18th four-home run game in Major League history, 16th in the modern era (since 1900), and second this year (Scooter Gennett, June 6).
This is the second time that MLB has seen multiple four-home run games in a season. Mike Cameron and Shawn Green accomplished the rare feat in 2002.
Each home run for Martinez came in consecutive at-bats off a different pitcher. He took starter Rich Hill deep for a two-run shot in the fourth, hit solo dingers in the seventh and eighth off Pedro Baez and Josh Fields, respectively, and finished the feat with a two-run blast off Wilmer Font in the ninth.
Take a look at all four:
Two solo dingers sandwiched between two two-run dingers. Not too shabby!
Here are some notable facts about Martinez’s monster game, per ESPN Stats & Info:
The D’Backs are also now the only franchise in MLB with a perfect game, 20-strikeout game, and four-home run game. The first two are courtesy of a man named Randy Johnson—you may have heard of him.
Martinez, 30, was acquired by the D’Backs from the Detroit Tigers on July 18. In 40 games with Arizona, he’s hitting .257/.337/.688 with 18 homers and 40 RBIs. Overall on the year, he carries a .285/.367/.645 slash line with 34 homers and 79 RBIs.
With a record of 80-58, Arizona leads their division rival Colorado Rockies by 6.5 games for the top spot in the NL Wild Card race.
Rich Hill Loses No-Hit Bid In The 10th Inning On A Walk-Off Home Run
Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Rich Hill lost a no-hitter in the most painful way possible on Wednesday night in Pittsburgh. The first hit he allowed was a walk-off home run in the tenth inning.
Hill was on the mound for the Dodgers as they faced the Pittsburgh Pirates in what was the third game of their four-game series. Pirates starter Trevor Williams went toe-to-toe with Hill for the first eight innings. Going into the ninth inning, neither pitcher had given up a run. The major difference between the two was that Hill had yet to allow a baserunner.
The perfect game almost ended in the bottom of the eighth inning when Pirates first baseman Josh Bell hit a hard line drive toward right field. Before it had the chance to land in the outfield for a base hit however, Dodgers second baseman Chase Utley made an unbelievable full-extension catch.
Unfortunately, the Dodgers were unable to give Hill any run support. Despite having a perfect game heading into the ninth inning, he did not have a lead to protect. Hill had 10 strikeouts through eight innings of work. The first batter of the bottom of the ninth inning was Jordy Mercer, and he hit a ground ball toward third base that was bobbled by Logan Forsythe. This untimely error ended Hill’s chances of achieving one of the rarest feats in baseball.
Luckily, Hill retired the next three batters and got out of the ninth inning without allowing a hit. The Dodgers could not get anything going in the top of the tenth inning, so the game remained scoreless. With Hill’s no-hitter still intact, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts did not hesitate to send him back out to the mound. Josh Harrison led off the bottom of the tenth inning. With one swing, he was able to give the Pirates their first hit of the game, as well as their first run. Harrison hit a ball to deep left field that just ended up making it over fence. Dodgers left fielder Curtis Granderson attempted to make a leaping grab and rob Harrison, but he came up short.
Hill lost his no-hitter in one of the most painful ways possible. He had a no-hitter going through the first nine innings, but had to keep pitching because his team could not give him any run support. As per ESPN Stats & Info, Hill is the first MLB pitcher in the last 100 seasons to go at least nine innings and allow one or fewer hits, not give up a walk, and still get a loss.
Rich Hill is the first pitcher in the last 100 seasons to throw at least 9 innings, allow 1 or fewer hits with no walks, and get a loss.
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) August 24, 2017
It is a shame that Hill took a loss after pitching as well as he did. This loss probably will not affect the Dodgers that much in the long run, as they are 89-36 on the season and have a 21-game lead over the Arizona Diamondbacks for first place in the NL West. Hill is the one who will be most impacted by the result of the game, as he will most likely never come this close to a no-hitter ever again. For Hill, this game will always be considered the one that could have been.
Dodgers Land Yu Darvish From Rangers
The Los Angeles Dodgers have landed Texas Rangers starting pitcher Yu Darvish, a move that will bolster the Dodgers rotation and provide Darvish a much-needed change of scenery.
It was not immediately known what the Rangers would receive in return for Darvish.
In addition to Darvish, the Dodgers added depth to their bullpen by working out deals for Tony Cingrani and Tony Watson from Cincinnati and Pittsburgh.
The Darvish deal was first reported by Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal and later confirmed by ESPN.
Darvish is 6-9 with a 4.01 ERA his season, his worst in five years in the majors.
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