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Baseball Insider

Reds seek a closer so they can move Aroldis Chapman to rotation

Chapman's arsenal beyond his 100 mph-plus fastball enhances his stock as a starter. (US Presswire)

INDIAN WELLS, Calif. -- The Reds hope to move mega-talent Aroldis Chapman from the bullpen to the rotation. That much is becoming clear.

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The one caveat is this: If they fail to come up with a replacement closer, Chapman might have to remain closer.

The three top names on the Reds' list to replace Chapman appear to be Jonathan Broxton, Ryan Madson and Joakim Soria. Madson and Broxton were Reds in 2012, though Madson missed the season after having Tommy John surgery last spring. Soria, the former Royals closer, also is returning from injury.

Chapman will receive some Cy Young support after posting a 1.51 ERA, saving 38 games and striking out 122 in 71 2/3 innings. But Reds people are imagining a front three of Johnny Cueto, Mat Latos and Chapman. Add Homer Bailey and they potentially have one of the best rotations in baseball.

It would be disappointing if for the Reds they can't come up with a replacement closer. They believe Chapman's changeup (as well as his dynamic slider), which he hardly uses now, should allow him to be a top starter.

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