Those of you who drafted Chapman for this season, took him hoping that he would make the rotation out of spring training. He certainly looked the part – with a 2.12 ERA, 18 K and 2 BB in 17 innings. Yes, they are spring stats, but with Chapman, it was all that we had (other than a handful of starts at Triple-A back in 2010) – and the scouting reports were positive.
We all know what happened from there. Chapman ended up getting bumped from the rotation in favor of Mike Leake and ended up turning in one of the greatest seasons a relief pitcher has put together in the last decade or two. He threw 71 2/3 innings with a 1.51 ERA, 0.81 WHIP and a 122-23 K/BB rate. Not only was he completely dominant, but he took over the closer’s role from Sean Marshall in May and racked up 38 saves in essentially four months on the job. If Chapman was going into 2013 as the Reds’ closer again, he’d be the #1b at the position to Craig Kimbrel’s #1a (who’s making history in his own right).
However, things appear about to finally change for the flame-throwing left-hander. The Reds signed Jonathan Broxton to a 3-year deal earlier this week, and not only gave him closer money, but also spoke publicly about wanting to move Chapman into the rotation for 2013. And therein lies the dilemma for keeper/dynasty league owners. In this off-season of both role and performance uncertainty, how do you value Aroldis Chapman?