The Miami Marlins have been occasionally tied to Aroldis Chapman's name during the various trade rumors of the offseason, but it was not something that the Fish were expected to get done. Marlins fans had to suspect that this would not be accomplished after Chapman came up against domestic violence charges that could land him a suspension by MLB to start the season.
However, the New York Yankees found the right price for the former Cincinnati Reds closer and dealt rightiy Rookie Davis, third baseman Eric Jagielo, and two other prospects for one year of Chapman. But before the Yankees could close on a deal, it sounds like the Marlins had an offer as well, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.
Sources: #Marlins also tried to acquire Chapman. #Reds preferred #Yankees’ offer.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 29, 2015
The Marlins had to offer a similar package in order to be in consideration to getting Chapman, and at first glance, it seems difficult Miami could have offered a deal that did not kill their limited depth. The Yankees did not give up a single elite prospect among their trio of Luis Severino, Aaron Judge, ad Greg Bird. Instead, they dug into their pretty deep system and sent a few guys out who were lesser ranked. According to Minor League Ball's John Sickels, Jagielo was the 12th-ranked prospect in the Yankees' system, and Davis before this year's breakout was not even ranked. The Yankees likely gave up two B- or so ranked players and change in return for Chapman.
Could the Marlins have offered a similar set? Their trade would have come from closer to the top of their drained system, but the team could have offered two of their starting pitching prospects, both of whom stagnated earlier this year but were close to the Major League level. Justin Nicolino and Jose Urena both were rated as B- players, and while neither had a good year in 2015, both hit the majors. Despite mediocre play, both could have been pitched as the centerpiece to a similar trade, but it is likely that the Reds opted for a little more upside rather than guys who were more complete in their development (and still struggling at higher levels). Alternately, the Marlins could have thrown out an offer involving Jarlin Garcia as a younger, more developmental talent, along with one of either Nicolino or Urena.
Acquiring Chapman would have loaded the bullpen with a bonafide, proven elite closer, and it would have given Miami at least a duo of Chapman and Carter Capps with elite potential, along with a good contributor in last year's closer, A.J. Ramos. However, the cost would have been hefty for a farm system with no working depth. Furthermore, it would have been an interesting message for a team likely not ready to compete to acquire a one-year rental, especially of a guy with questionable moral standing and a potential suspension on the way. There is a reason why Chapman's price dropped precipitously during the offseason, and it has obviously to do with the domestic violence charges brought up against him and the potential suspension in play. Could the Marlins afford to bring such a volatile player with all of this off-field baggage to a young roster? Would it be the right social message to spend money and players to pick up a guy with dubious problems like these?
The point is moot now, as the Yankees were the ones who made the deal. Still, Miami wants to improve its roster but is still finding it difficult to do so.