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#pounditSunday, February 25, 2024

Report clarifies rumors of Dodgers’ interest in controversial free agent

Dave Roberts looking on

Oct 11, 2022; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts (30) reacts during game one of the NLDS for the 2022 MLB Playoffs against the San Diego Padres at Dodger Stadium. The Dodgers defeated the Padres 5-3. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Dodgers would do anything for bullpen help (but they won’t do that).

Rumors emerged this week that the defending NL West champion Dodgers were interested in signing mercurial free agent reliever Aroldis Chapman. The source of the chatter appears to have been former MLB player Carlos Baerga, who shared a rumor to Instagram that Chapman had supposedly been offered two-year deals by both the Dodgers and the San Diego Padres. Baerga has been right with a couple of MLB scoops, including the news of Rafael Devers agreeing to a massive extension with the Boston Red Sox.

A tweet on Thursday from LA Times writer Mike DiGiovanna (who covers the Dodgers) put that notion to rest though, at least on the Dodgers front. DiGiovanna reported that the Dodgers are not involved in the bidding for the seven-time All-Star Chapman.

Though he was once one of baseball’s first-rate relievers, Chapman’s talent is outweighed by his baggage these days. The Dodgers very nearly traded for Chapman in 2015 before an incident of alleged domestic violence involving the left-hander derailed the deal. The bad news continued for Chapman last season as well when the New York Yankees intentionally left him off their playoff roster as punishment.

The Dodgers are in a bad spot in their bullpen after losing both Chris Martin and Tommy Kahnle in free agency this offseason (weeks after getting the news that another reliever will likely miss all of 2023 with injury). But it appears they don’t want to take on the drama with Chapman, which the Dodgers already have plenty of with a different pitcher on their roster.

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