Originally Posted by traderumor
It wasn't broke last season. This is a new season. It is very clear in baseball roster construction that a starting pitcher is much, much more valuable than a reliever, so when you have one with the potential of Chapman to add to the rotation, you improve what you have. That isn't breaking anything, that's upgrading.
I don't agree with the way you framed the question. A starting pitcher may be more valuable than a reliever typically. But Chapman wasn't just a reliever. I think you have to weigh his value as a starter against his value as a top closer.
And while, as Doug often points out, a single reliever isn't that critical, I think differently about premium late inning relievers. Guys who regularly cover the 8th or 9th inning effectively. Not the same thing as a middle man innings eater.
The problem here, of course, is that Chapman's success level as a starter is unknown. So it's trading a relatively sure thing in the bullpen to something more questionable in the rotation.
To me, this one is for the professionals. They have to project how good a starter Chappy can be. If they believe he has enough different pitches, stamina, etc., and is likely to be a first rate starter, the decision is made.
If they think the odds of him being a first rate starter is in the 50-50 range, I think he stays in the pen.