2. Aroldis Chapman should be a Braves trade target amid injuries
Yes, the Braves’ injury woes are largely concerning the starting rotation. No, Aroldis Chapman has no business being anywhere near the rotation. And this might be a galaxy-brain approach to solving the problem, but the Royals star reliever could be an option to help the cause while they deal with injuries and beyond.
Admittedly, I recently listed Chapman as a Braves trade target that the club should avoid. That largely has to do with the cost and, more pressingly, was before the severity of the injuries for Fried and Wright came to light with how long they’d be out and how much help Atlanta needs to weather the storm. Put simply, circumstances and, as such, opinions change.
After being a headache in the Yankees bullpen last year, though, Chapman has turned back the clock after signing a one-year deal with Kansas City, posting a 2.84 ERA and 1.11 WHIP over 14 apperances with the Royals this season. He’s looked dominant when he’s been on the hill.
If Atlanta were to find a deal that only cost a modest amount in a trade for Chapman, it would be advantageous to have the veteran southpaw hurling out of the bullpen to deepen it. It’s likely that the Braves look to roll with a number of bullpen games while they deal with injuries to starters, which means that depth, quality depth especially, is crucial. So landing Chapman to join A.J. Minter, Raisel Iglesias and Tyler Matzek (when he returns from the IL) would be huge for that.
So again, Chapman doesn’t directly help with the starting pitching injuries but, in a roundabout way, he could set up the Braves to better handle dealing with those injuries while strengthening the bullpen for the long run in the process.