Personally, I think the Reds should give him the opportunity to pitch as a starter. They at least owe it to themselves to know whether he can be that #1 starter scouts were saying he can be. His ceiling as an ace starter outweights that of an ace reliever. Plus Chapman has only pitched as a reliever during his time with the MLB Reds. Prior to that, he had been used exclusively as a top starting pitcher in Cuba. Add in the fact that the Reds have interest in bringing back Madson and/ or Jonathan Broxton, it is worth it for them to see this out.
If Chapman establishes himself as a dominant starter this season, it gives the Reds two seasons of having Chapman as a bargain. He is only scheduled to make $2 million next season and $3 million in 2014. Imagine if he performs to that of a top starter. It is already a bargain for a closer.
My question is when does the value of a closer trump that of a starting pitcher? In a case involving Neftali Feliz? A closer has more value than that of a fifth starter, right? The way the game has changed has put a lot more value in the back end of a team's bullpen. If a fifth starter is only getting you five innings, that arm should be better suited to being a late game reliever. Thats why I think Feliz should close again next season. The Rangers have already decided that Alexei Ogando will go back to starting next season. Feliz is a fifth starter with a ceiling of a 3 or 4. Chapman can be a top starter in the NL, let alone be Cincinnati's ace, so to me its a no brainer.