I got into a very weird argument last night. I once again exclaimed my desire for Aroldis Chapman to be traded to the Nats and was told this was an unrealistic dream and not because the Blue Jays are more desperate for a closer or that another team would give up more for Chapman but because the Nats aren't good enough against under .500 teams. This person claimed that because the Nats by their fuzzy math were .500 against under .500 teams and .600 against over .500 teams this would prevent them from making the playoffs. Don't ask me how that works or how they determined what an over .500 team was since as James O'Hara likes to say we don't know until the end of the season who the good teams are. All I know is this is why Mike Rizzo wouldn't pick up the phone and call Walt Jockety and try and trade for Chapman.
I on the other hand think the Nats are the most logical landing place for Chapman. Before the Nats were scarred by the Yunesky Maya experience they bid on Cuban prospects and one of those was Aroldis Chapman. The Nats offered $25 million but the Reds offered $30 million and Chapman became a Red. The Nats liked Chapman then and they still like him now because we know Mike Rizzo and Walt Jockety discussed Chapman earlier in the year. We have no idea what the Reds asking price is or if they even want to trade him but they should trade him and the Nats have a top ten farm system. If this were a murder investigation we'd say the Nats have the motive, the means, and the opportunity.
The only thing that prevents the Nats from getting Chapman is another team on the edges of the playoff race offering way too much. Teams that trade to enhance their chances in the playoffs are more likely to make decent to good trades while teams on the edge of the playoffs are more likely to make poor trades. The hope for the Reds is the Blue Jays completely panic and offer everything they have for Chapman while the Nationals may only be willing to offer one top prospect and a couple mid-range guys.
As was demonstrated Monday evening the Nats have a need for bullpen help. Casey Janssen has done a fine job since coming off the DL but he isn't a setup man. He is a pitcher I'm fine with having in the Nats bullpen but he's not one I want in crucial situations. The Nats need to upgrade the bullpen and Chapman is the best player rumored to be available. The Nats have past interest and current interest in Chapman, have a bullpen in desperate need of upgrading, and have the players to make a deal work.