Somewhat of a shock came last night when Francys Romero and Robert Murray broke the news about the Pittsburgh Pirates signing Aroldis Chapman. Chapman has had a storied career from leaving Cuba for Major League Baseball and turning into a historical arm. The Cuban Missle was his nickname early on in his career. This is because he broke records with his fastball, consistently hitting the triple digits and ramping up to 105 at times.
Beyond the fact that he played for the rival Cincinnati Reds and was hated during those playoff years, it is a bit odd of a signing. Last year one of the biggest positive takeaways was the emergence of the bullpen. Not just one pitcher but multiple arms took steps forward and solidified their spots on the roster. These arms include Dauri Moreta, Ryan Borucki, and Jose Hernandez.
Of course, the backend of the bullpen was the major part that emerged. Everyone knew that David Bednar was an All-Star caliber closer. However, Colin Holderman impressed in his first full season with the Bucs, posting 58 punch-outs in 56 innings of work. Carmer Mlodzinski had a breakout rookie season posting a 2.35 ERA.
So how does veteran Aroldis Chapman fit into this bullpen? The obvious answer is that he slots in as the 7th or 8th inning guy when the matchups call for a lefty. He also has closing experience which is always needed throughout the season. Still, this signing just seems so random. Why is that?