The Red Sox had been exploring a possible trade for lefthander Aroldis Chapman in November until the team discovered in its background check that the Reds closer had allegedly been involved in a domestic dispute, according to multiple industry sources.
The alleged incident came to light on Monday in a report by Yahoo Sports. In the report, Chapman’s lawyer “vehemently” denied the allegations.
The Red Sox, at the time, had been exploring two potential trades to reinforce the back end of the bullpen, examining a match with the Reds on Chapman as well as a deal with the Padres for closer Craig Kimbrel. Up to that point, the Red Sox had been debating the merits of two options that had shown late-game dominance.
The righthanded Kimbrel offered the Sox more years of team control (two guaranteed, with a 2018 option), but as a result, the price in prospects was considerably higher than it would have been for Chapman, who is eligible for free agency after 2016.
However, once the Sox’ background examination revealed the alleged incident, the team directed its efforts to Kimbrel. One day after the GM meetings, the Red Sox landed the Padres closer in exchange for four prospects.
The Reds agreed to a deal to send Chapman to the Dodgers on Monday, but then appeared to be on hold, following the Yahoo report.Alex Speier can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on twitter at @alexspeier.