Originally Posted by RedsManRick
The problem is that your point is fundamentally flawed.
When you say "We've seen what happens with weak bullpens.", you're essentially asserting that, without Chapman or without adding a proven closer, our bullpen would be weak. If you didn't believe this to be the case, there'd be no reason for you to say it. It's the core of your argument. And yet, when you actually look at it, this was a very good bullpen even without Chapman.
Every single reliever with more than 20 IP had an ERA under 3.50. That's 7 guys. A whole bullpen's worth of guys who were above average. Sure, they're likely to regress some. I've certainly argued that Ondrusek will. But as a group, they're likely to regress from great to good. Not from great to "weak".
And that ignores that we have Bray and Masset who should be healthy. And it ignores that we have Todd Redmond and Tony Cigrani who could both be positive contributors. This team does not want for quality bullpen arms.
Yes, taking Chapman out of the bullpen makes it weaker, no doubt. But we don't need anything to "materialize" to have a good bullpen without him. Even without Chapman, the players we already have on the 40 man roster comprise a good bullpen.
We shouldn't let fear of the horrible bullpens of years past that we simply assume anything less than having the best bullpen in baseball is a "losing proposition". Heck, just ask the Giants (3.54 ERA, 8th in NL) and the Tigers (3.79 ERA 10th in the AL) if you have to have a lights out pen to win. Or just ask your fellow Reds fans if they would have traded Chapman the closer for Chapman the starter when Johnny Cueto walked off the mound in Game 1 of the NLDS.
Isn't someone who is for moving Chapman to the starting rotation also going to be against moving Cingani, who is coming off of a dominant minor league season, to the bullpen?
And I think that the greater point is almost a subtly implied one, which is that going from Chapman to David Weathers or Chris Perez or whoever is behind door #3 is effectively a lateral move because both convert saves at about the same rate. I fundamentally disagree with this.
And I think that the Tigers, who would have not made the playoffs up until September because of a weak bullpen, namely Valverde, would agree that you need a better bullpen than they had to win. It isn't about having the best bullpen or being unable to win, it is about maximizing assets and looking at the roster of a team that just won 99 games and realizing that some moves might need to be made aren't the drastic ones, like taking a 3.3 win reliever and making him a starter when he hasn't started a game or shown a third pitch to real live batters since 2010 in AAA, if he even did with regularity there.
I also think it is pretty interesting that a lot of posters who grow tired with the fantasy baseball trades for Wright or players of that ilk are often the same posters who want to make Chapman into a starter when he has shown almost nothing as a pitcher that materially separates him from Kimbrel (outside of "he used to start in Cuba"). Sure, I would have felt great if Chapman could have come in and pitched 8 innings after Cueto got hurt in game one. I also would have felt great if Verlander, Felix Hernandez, RA Dickey, Scherzer, Gio Gonzalez, Cy Young, Tom Seaver, Tom Browning, or Johnny Van Der Meer could have come in and pitched for 8 innings too. In the end, that game was a Reds win and the real culprit was in games 3 and 5 where hits suddenly became scarce, especially in key situations.
Sometimes assets need to be protected. Sometimes it is a smart idea to get up from the poker table, regardless of how well you have been doing. I think that moving Chapman to the rotation is a ship that has sailed and now a gamble that doesn't make sense to take, especially given that Cueto, Latos, and Bailey all had stretches of dominance and that Arroyo and Leake are still very serviceable and good in their roles.