Via Jon Heyman -
Cuban defector Aroldis Chapman will be at ALCS Game 6 at Yankee Stadium as a guest of the Yankees, sources said.
The invitation is a not-do-subtle way of gaining an advantage in talks for the talented left-handed pitcher. Word is that Chapman is seeking a deal worth $40-60 million, and the Yankees and Red Sox could be gearing up for a battle.
The Cubs, Blue Jays, Rangers, Mets, Orioles and White Sox also have been mentioned as having interest.
But that’s a lot of money to pay for a pitcher who’s unproven as a big leaguer, and only the Yankees and Red Sox have a history of taking such a plunge (Boston paid $103 million for Daisuke Matsuzaka; the Yankees $32 million for Jose Contreras).
A few weeks back, I read this from Jim Callis on Chapman:
I won’t be surprised if Chapman gets three times as much as Stephen Strasburg’s draft-record $15.1 million contract. He’s a 22-year-old lefthander with a fastball clocked at 100 mph at the World Baseball Classic, and he’s on the open market—a potent combination. As one scout who saw him at the WBC said, “If you are looking for more than that in a pitcher, you’ll be searching your whole life.”
But here’s the kicker: Chapman never has dominated Cuba’s Serie Nacional. He’s much more of a thrower than a pitcher. Most of Cuban defectors haven’t lived up to their hype, and the last Cuban pitcher to attract this kind of fanfare was Jose Contreras. Contreras has three good seasons and a solid 71-63, 4.63 career, but expectations were that he’d deliver a lot more after signing a $32 million contract with the Yankees.
So, there you have it. In a way, Aroldis Chapman is the Cuban Andrew Brackman. So, I’m sure that Brian Cashman will break the bank to obtain him for the Yankees.