Hot Stove: Could Nationals be a possible landing spot for Chapman?

Could the Nationals be a possible landing spot at some point for Aroldis Chapman? It isn't known whether the Reds and Nats have spoken about Chapman since news surfaced about his alleged domestic incident, and the Nats could very well want to see how the case plays out before making any move, but folks around the game are speculating Washington may ultimately be the best hope for the Reds to trade their star closer.

Nationals GM Mike Rizzo didn't respond to an inquiry Wednesday regarding Chapman. Nothing should be read into his non-response, though, since GMs don't like to talk about other team's players. In any case, rival executives opine Washington may still make sense for Chapman, who played for Dusty Baker in Cincinnati.

The Dodgers aren't going to be the team for Chapman, as they put off their agreed-upon trade indefinitely and there's no belief they will seriously re-consider that decision anytime soon (and, in fact, the Dodgers on Wednesday sent infielder Jose Peraza, who'd been in the agreed-upon Chapman deal, to Cincinnati in the three-team trade that sent star third baseman Todd Frazier from Cincinnati to the White Sox).

While the Nats and Reds have been discussing a trade that would send Brandon Phillips from Cincinnati to Washington, as Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reported, there's no indication yet that Chapman's name is in any way prominent in these talks.

The speculation involving the Nats and Chapman -- and at this point it may only be speculation -– may be about little or nothing more than the belief that Nats decision makers are big fans of Chapman.

And that goes well beyond manager Dusty Baker, who said aloud that he is a believer in Chapman and "would like to have him on my team." GM Mike Rizzo is also said to be a huge fan of Chapman's pitching, and Nats assistant GM Bob Miller was also in Cincinnati when that team signed Chapman out of Cuba.

Chapman had a 1.63 ERA last year and struck out 116 batters in 66 1/3 innings.

Aroldis Chapman
The Nationals could be a landing spot for Aroldis Chapman. (USATSI)
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