NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Well, here's a potential game-changer when it comes to the mess surrounding Reds (?) closer Aroldis Chapman. If he's suspended for at least 46 games (50 would be the likely length to get there), he won't be a free agent after next season as previously scheduled.

There is so much to unpack regarding the current Chapman situation, but this layer is pretty interesting. There was reportedly an agreement to trade Chapman from the Reds to the Dodgers Monday morning, though the Reds turned around and said there was no deal. While we were waiting for it to go through, news broke that Chapman was involved in an alleged domestic violence incident. Now MLB is investigating and could suspend Chapman under the new domestic violence policy.

In going through the service time rules, 46 games is what it would take to delay Chapman's service time to the point that he won't have what the collective bargaining agreement defines as six full seasons.

One would assume Chapman's trade value takes a hit here, as any suspension means he wouldn't have as much value next season in terms of on-field performance.

Then again, what if he is suspended for 50 games? Then he's not a free agent until after 2017, so any trading partner with the Reds would get him for roughly 1 2/3 seasons. This impacts the next two seasons for any teams planning on contending, thus ratcheting up his perceived trade value in terms of on-field availability.

Further, what if the Reds then decide to keep Chapman and deal him in front of next season's trade deadline? The bidding war then could be wild, especially with Chapman's suspension in the rearview mirror.

Among many other aspects to the situations surrounding Chapman right now, the service time issue is an absolutely fascinating one to watch.

Aroldis Chapman's free agency could be delayed.
Aroldis Chapman's free agency could be delayed. (USATSI)