NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — As baseball’s annual winter meetings began, the proposed trade sending Cincinnati Reds closer Aroldis Chapman to the Los Angeles Dodgers appeared to be on hold Monday night after Yahoo Sports reported that police investigated an accusation of domestic violence involving the pitcher.
Yahoo reported more than a dozen police officers responded to Chapman’s home in Florida on Oct. 30. No arrests were made due to conflicting stories and a lack of cooperation, according to the report by the website.
Police in Davie, Florida, said they could not provide a copy of the police report on Monday night. Jay Reisinger, Chapman’s lawyer, denied the allegations in the Yahoo report.
“We are aware of the situation and have commenced an investigation,” Major League Baseball said in a statement.
Earlier, a person familiar with the deal said the Reds agreed to trade Chapman to the Dodgers, pending approval of medical records. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the agreement, first reported by Fox, had not been announced.
A 27-year-old left-hander, Chapman is eligible for free agency after next year’s World Series. He threw the 62 fastest pitches in the big leagues this year, ranging from 103.92 mph to 102.36 mph, according to Major League Baseball’s Statcast computer system. Chapman would join a bullpen that already has closer Kenley Jansen.
“Kansas City has shown that a really lights-out, super bullpen is a way of winning championships,” Washington general manager Mike Rizzo said. “You’re seeing more and more resources being put into bullpen pieces.”
In the first completed trade of the annual swap session, Boston bolstered a suddenly imposing bullpen, acquiring right-hander Carson Smith and lefty Roenis Elias from Seattle for left-hander Wade Miley and reliever Jonathan Aro.
The 26-year-old Smith, who was 2-5 with 13 saves and a 2.31 ERA in 70 appearances for Seattle, joins the back end of a bullpen anchored by new closer Craig Kimbrel.
“I think it really gives us another power arm,” Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said. “It gives us a little more depth out there.”
World Series champion Kansas City made a pair of pitching moves, announcing an $11.5 million, two-year contract with right-hander Chris Young, who won the Series opener, and agreeing to a $25 million, three-year deal with reliever Joakim Soria that still needed to be finalized.
“Him and Chris Young are very similar people,” general manager Dayton Moore said.
After defecting from Cuba in 2009, Chapman spent the last six seasons with the Reds and saved 146 games in 164 chances. He had a 1.63 ERA this year, when he struck out 116 in 66 1-3 innings.
“We go through this at the trade deadline at the end of July and now we have a bunch of players with names out there. So it’s uncomfortable enough,” Reds manager Bryan Price said. “So if anything happens with any of our guys, it would be nice if it happened sooner rather than later, but that’s just the nature of the beast.”
Los Angeles also was closing in on deals to add free-agent pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma and to re-sign second baseman Chase Utley.
“You look at Chase Utley, the intangibles, I think he’s a special player and can make our team better,” new Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “Iwakuma, haven’t seen a whole lot, but when he’s healthy, he’s as good as anything. Top-of-the-rotation guy. From what I hear, he’s healthy. We’ll see what happens.”
Zack Greinke, who agreed Friday to a $206.5 million, six-year contract with Arizona, took the physical Monday that is needed before that deal can be finalized. He went 51-15 with a 2.30 ERA in three seasons with the Dodgers.
“It’s definitely a void,” Roberts said. “I was looking forward to being on the same club, but that’s the nature of this game.”
In another staple of the first day at the meetings, the Hall of Fame’s veterans committee announced its election results, and for the second straight year no candidates were chosen. The Pre-Integration Era Committee weighed the merits of six players, three executives and one of the game’s pioneers, all of whom made their mark before Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in 1947. None of the 10 received the 12 of 16 votes necessary for induction.
A Hall of Famer did make news, though. Commissioner Rob Manfred said Cal Ripken Jr. is his new special adviser on youth programs and outreach.
“I’ve always wanted to help develop the kids and let them see the joy that baseball can provide. It’s a wonderful, wonderful sport,” Ripken said. “And I still think it’s a little different than other sports. You don’t have to be the biggest, strongest, and fastest. The skills involved in baseball doesn’t discriminate on size, and it’s wonderful to see a small kid step up and grab a bat and all of a sudden have great success.”
The meetings at the vast Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center, under a glass roof and with winding paths through water attractions, run through Thursday.
Rizzo voted to stay in the Nationals’ rooms as much as possible.
“I’m still lost,” he said.