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GIDP
07-02-2009, 01:18 AM
Saw on MLB Trade Rumors that he defected.

Any idea of who he signs with? He threw some major heat during the WBC. 100 MPH at the WBC if you really trusted those guns, but even if it wasnt 100+ it still had to be in the mid to high 90s which out of a lefty is pretty impressive.

Id say he needs to work on the control a bit and he didnt show much in terms of offspeed stuff but you can see a lot of potential in the guy.

Mario-Rijo
07-02-2009, 01:28 AM
Saw on MLB Trade Rumors that he defected.

Any idea of who he signs with? He threw some major heat during the WBC. 100 MPH at the WBC if you really trusted those guns, but even if it wasnt 100+ it still had to be in the mid to high 90s which out of a lefty is pretty impressive.

Id say he needs to work on the control a bit and he didnt show much in terms of offspeed stuff but you can see a lot of potential in the guy.

OBM posted something on him in the ORG yesterday.

http://www.redszone.com/forums/showthread.php?t=75992&page=2

OnBaseMachine
07-02-2009, 12:24 PM
Top Cuban prospect defects
By Jorge Arangure
ESPN The Magazine

Aroldis Chapman, a Cuban considered by many scouts to be the best left-handed pitching prospect in the world, has defected from the national team, several sources have confirmed to ESPN The Magazine.

Chapman, 21, walked out of his hotel in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, where Cuba was participating in a tournament, and never returned, according to the Spanish-language Web site cubaencuentro.com, which first reported Chapman's defection.

Chapman told the site he was still in Europe, but would not reveal his location for safety reasons.

"I walked out easily, right through the hotel door, and I hopped into a car and left," Chapman told cubaencuentro.com. "It was easy. Now the plan is to sign with a major league team."

A source said Chapman was scheduled to fly to Miami on Thursday.

Chapman would be the most heralded defector since Jose Contreras, who left the national team in 2002 during a tournament in Mexico.

By several estimates, Chapman could garner a contract worth anywhere from $30 million to $60 million. Contreras received a four-year, $32 million contract from the New York Yankees in 2003, which at the time was the biggest ever given to a Cuban defector.

"Without a doubt [he is the best player to defect since Contreras]," agent Jaime Torres said Thursday.

Torres, who represented Contreras and is considered the top agent for Cuban defectors, said he has had no contact with Chapman yet.

Chapman is not a complete unknown; he pitched for Cuba at the World Baseball Classic this past spring.

"This is shocking," one international scouting director said about the magnitude of the defection.

Yet Chapman is still considered a fairly raw prospect. Though many considered him to be the most talented pitcher on the Cuban squad, Chapman posted only a 5.68 ERA in 6 1/3 innings during the WBC. Last year in the National Series in Cuba, Chapman had a 4.03 ERA in 118 1/3 innings.

And though his pitches have been clocked at 100 mph, some consider Chapman's secondary pitches to be only average. For that reason, many believe Chapman likely would have to start his professional career in the minors.

There also might be a question of Chapman's maturity level. Several times at the WBC, Chapman was demonstrative in his displeasure at the umpire's strike zone. At times, several of his teammates had to go to the mound to calm him.

And when he was finally removed in the third inning of a 6-0 loss against Japan in pool play, Chapman did not look at manager Higinio Velez, running straight into the clubhouse without slapping hands with any of his teammates.

Yet in that start, Chapman showed exactly why he will be highly coveted: In the first inning, Chapman threw a 100-mph pitch. Later in that game, Chapman hit 102 mph.

"I think the fastball he showed at the Classic was good enough," Torres said, jokingly.

Chapman also appears to have the charisma to make him a star in the majors. During the WBC, he regularly mugged for cameras and always offered smiles at reporters, though because of Cuba team rules, he was not allowed to speak to any of them.

"I'm very happy," Chapman said on cubaencuentro.com. "Until now everything has come out fine. This is the plan that I had and this was a decision I took. I wanted to test myself in the highest levels of baseball."

Because it's likely Chapman surrendered his passport to Cuban officials after arriving in Europe -- all Cuban players routinely do so, prior to any appearance outside of Cuba -- he will have some complications in establishing residency.

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=4302422

NJReds
07-02-2009, 12:36 PM
From that article, it's the kind of risk-reward the Reds can't bother getting involved in. Just because he lights up the radar gun doesn't mean he'll be a great pitcher. A team like Cincinnati can't afford a $30-$60M mistake.

GIDP
07-02-2009, 12:38 PM
He does more than just light up the gun though.

OnBaseMachine
07-02-2009, 12:47 PM
Chapman Reportedly Leaves Cuban Team

Posted Jul. 2, 2009 11:40 am by John Manuel
Filed under: International

Lefthanded pitcher Aroldis Chapman, the hardest thrower for Cuba and its de facto No. 1 starter during the 2009 World Baseball Classic, reportedly has left the Cuban national team in the Netherlands. One veteran international scout has confirmed to BA that Chapman has left the team and is seeking to defect.

Cuba sent a club to participate in the World Port tournament, with Chapman on the roster as something of a surprise. Chapman has been considered a fairly significant defection risk in recent years, to the point where he was left off the 2008 Olympic roster. He did pitch in the WBC this spring, though, hitting 100 mph on the radar gun and averaging 93 mph in a 44-pitch outing against Japan. He also pitched against Australia in Mexico City, where a scout we talked to this spring saw him and was impressed.

"He was unreal in Mexico City and just OK in San Diego," the scout said. "There were rumors heading into Mexico that he wouldn’t be there because they were afraid he would defect, but he was there and was lights out. If you are looking for more than that in a pitcher, you’ll be searching your whole life. He was so much fun to watch. If he’s 21 like he’s listed, the sky’s the limit. You’ve got honestly just one or two tweaks that could be made but he could go straight to the top of a big league rotation. He’s got a great body, definitely has high pockets, absolutely. He’s on top of the hitter, his release has extension, he’s got the ball coming out of there at 100 mph. He’s absolutely electric."

If Chapman defects, it should take several months for him to establish residency in another country to become a free agent (the Netherlands makes sense), and then to go through the "unblocking" process that all Cubans have to go through with the U.S. government.

When Chapman becomes a free agent, what kind of deal will he receive? The standards to compare him are Jose Contreras, another Cuban who signed in 2002 with the Yankees for a four-year, $32 million deal (including a $6 million bonus), and Daisuke Matsuzaka, who received a $2 million bonus and a six-year, $52 million deal. Both of those pitchers were older and more established in their respective leagues than Chapman, and both had premium stuff. But neither was lefthanded and neither had Chapman’s pure velocity.

The reputation of Cuban pitchers has taken a hit over the years—Orlando Hernandez remains the most accomplished Cuban defector of the last 15 years, and even Contreras, the ace of the ‘05 World Series champion White Sox, has been a bit disappointing over the breadth of his career. Still, Chapman likely would command a contract in the range of what Contreras got nearly seven years ago, if not more.

http://www.baseballamerica.com/blog/prospects/?p=5271

Brutus
07-02-2009, 12:52 PM
He does more than just light up the gun though.

He kind of seems to be a headcase. While his talent is unquestionable, for me, composure is huge in a pitcher. I'm not sure he has it. Maybe maturity will cure some of this, but I tend to agree that is too much money to risk on a kid like that (if some screws are loose).

GIDP
07-02-2009, 12:53 PM
He kind of seems to be a headcase. While his talent is unquestionable, for me, composure is huge in a pitcher. I'm not sure he has it. Maybe maturity will cure some of this, but I tend to agree that is too much money to risk on a kid like that (if some screws are loose).

Hard to disagree much.

NJReds
07-02-2009, 12:54 PM
He does more than just light up the gun though.

I've never seen him pitch, but the article said:


And though his pitches have been clocked at 100 mph, some consider Chapman's secondary pitches to be only average. For that reason, many believe Chapman likely would have to start his professional career in the minors.

There also might be a question of Chapman's maturity level. Several times at the WBC, Chapman was demonstrative in his displeasure at the umpire's strike zone. At times, several of his teammates had to go to the mound to calm him.

So I think it'd be a huge risk for a team like the Reds to sign him to big money.

OnBaseMachine
07-02-2009, 12:56 PM
When I watched Chapman pitch, his slider was nasty. It was a true wipeout pitch.

GIDP
07-02-2009, 12:58 PM
His slider was good, but I dont think he knows where its going that often.

GIDP
07-02-2009, 12:58 PM
I've never seen him pitch, but the article said:



So I think it'd be a huge risk for a team like the Reds to sign him to big money.

60 million yea

30-40 id take that risk.

OesterPoster
07-02-2009, 12:59 PM
Can't imagine he'd sign with anyone other than the Yankees, Red Sox, or possibly Mets.

Benihana
07-02-2009, 01:05 PM
Sounds like a left-handed Carlos Zambrano. Mentally, at least...

Scrap Irony
07-02-2009, 01:07 PM
I'd be willing to go 5-year, $45 million, but he'd likely laugh at that offer.

JaxRed
07-02-2009, 01:08 PM
I'd be willing to go 5-year, $45 million, but he'd likely laugh at that offer.

I'm laughing already.

fearofpopvol1
07-02-2009, 01:27 PM
The Reds will not be in on this one. He'll be a Yank or a Sawk (or maybe a Met/Angel/Dodger).

DTCromer
07-02-2009, 03:04 PM
I'll laugh if we sign him at all.

OnBaseMachine
07-03-2009, 06:05 PM
Aroldis Chapman: A left-handed Strasburg

Thursday, July 2, 2009 | Feedback | Print Entry

The most intense bidding of the winter will not be over Matt Holliday or Jason Bay. It will not be John Lackey who is going to have the most bidders frothing after him.

No, it will be Aroldis Chapman, the 21-year-old pitcher who reportedly defected from Cuba while traveling with the national team in the Netherlands.

To put his talent in perspective: Some evaluators view Chapman as a left-handed Stephen Strasburg. "He's pretty special," said one official.

He has a fastball clocked at 101 or 102 MPH, and a plus curveball and plus slider, to use the scouts' vernacular.

But unlike Strasburg, his market will not be restricted to the one team that drafted him. It may be about six months before his situation is settled to the point where teams will be able to make bids. But when that can happen, you can expect a Daisuke Matsuzaka-like feeding frenzy to ensue.

Jose Contreras signed a $32 million deal with the Yankees earlier this decade, but he was much older than Chapman. Matsuzaka was 25-years-old when the Boston Red Sox committed $103 million in a posting fee and contract to sign him. Chapman's situation is incredibly unique, because he's so young, so talented -- all of his best years presumably in front of him -- and so well known among evaluators.

http://insider.espn.go.com/espn/blog/index?entryID=4301746&name=olney_buster&action=login&appRedirect=http%3a%2f%2finsider.espn.go.com%2fesp n%2fblog%2findex%3fentryID%3d4301746%26name%3dolne y_buster

Mario-Rijo
07-03-2009, 06:58 PM
Would have liked to get this one.

Link (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2009/baseball/mlb/07/03/redsox.iglesias/index.html)


Posted: Friday July 3, 2009 4:20PM; Updated: Friday July 3, 2009 4:40PM

Red Sox in serious talks with coveted Cuban SS Iglesias
By Jon Heyman, SI.com

The Red Sox are in serious discussions with Cuban shortstop whiz Jose Iglesias, according to a league source.

If finalized, the contract is expected to be for about $8 million, perhaps a little bit more than that, according to people familiar with the talks. One league source said it wasn't done yet but expressed optimism that it would get done.

Iglesias, who's listed at 19 years old, defected from Cuba last year in Canada during the World Junior Championships.

Scouts who have seen Iglesias liken him to Ozzie Smith defensively.

"His hands and arm are deluxe,'' one American League executive said. "The question is how much he'll hit.''

travisgrimes
07-04-2009, 12:07 AM
according to MLBTR.com Aroldis Chapman is likely 26 yrs old and not 21 yrs old

redsfandan
07-04-2009, 02:17 AM
Top Cuban prospect defects
By Jorge Arangure
ESPN The Magazine
....
And though his pitches have been clocked at 100 mph, some consider Chapman's secondary pitches to be only average. For that reason, many believe Chapman likely would have to start his professional career in the minors.

There also might be a question of Chapman's maturity level. Several times at the WBC, Chapman was demonstrative in his displeasure at the umpire's strike zone. At times, several of his teammates had to go to the mound to calm him. ...
http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=4302422


Chapman Reportedly Leaves Cuban Team

Posted Jul. 2, 2009 11:40 am by John Manuel
Filed under: International
... If he’s 21 like he’s listed, the sky’s the limit. ...

http://www.baseballamerica.com/blog/prospects/?p=5271

Umm Houston? I think we have a problem. I think those contract demands may have to come down a little now.

RedsManRick
07-04-2009, 11:21 AM
Put me down in the camp who wants no part of Chapman at the price he's going to demand. Even if he is 21, I don't want to be paying him 7, 8, 10 million a year while he learns to pitch in the bigs. That's simply not a risk the Reds can afford to take. If you're going to spend that sort of dough in the foreign market, I'd much rather put it in to the signing bonuses of 4-5 high ceiling guys who will have the opportunity to work their way through the system and don't require a long term deal.

OnBaseMachine
07-10-2009, 06:41 PM
No Evidence That Aroldis Chapman Is 26

Posted Jul. 9, 2009 4:21 pm by J.J. Cooper
Filed under: Summer Scene

Aroldis Chapman set off a flood of speculation when he defected from the Cuban National team last week, with questions about whether he’ll break the international signing bonus record, when he will become eligible to sign and which club will end up landing him.

But nothing seems to have stuck more than Jack Curry’s report in the New York Times that Aroldis Chapman may be 26 years old, five years older than the 21 he’s listed at by the Cubans. Curry wrote that "reports in March at the World Baseball Classic said he was 26."

In an e-mail response, Curry explained that the line was added by an editor. It is based on a New York Times story from the World Baseball Classic on March 13, when Dan Rosenheck listed Chapman’s age as 26. There is no explanation why Chapman was listed at 26 at the time. In a later e-mail, Curry said the sourcing for Chapman’s age came from a conversation with Baseball America’s own John Manuel. Rosenheck misunderstood Manuel at best, as Manuel says he did not tell Rosenheck that Chapman was 26, and BA has no documentation suggesting his age is anything other than 21. In fact, Manuel explained that Cuban players’ ages are more well-documented than any other Latin American prospects because they participate in international tournaments from a young age.

When reporting for our Top 10 Prospects from the World Baseball Classic , all of the scouts we talked to thought Chapman was 21 and we can find no report to the contrary.

A quick Google Search of "Aroldis Chapman actually 26" shows that the Times report has quickly become the accepted standard, raising significant questions about Chapman’s age. But in addition to not have any real documentation behind it, the report also doesn’t pass the logic test. Why would Cuba lie about a player’s age? Cuba doesn’t want to see its players defect. Lying about Chapman’s age to make him seem younger could have a minor benefit in giving Cuba a better chance win the occasional age-group international tournament (although Chapman has been playing on the senior national team), but it would also raise the likelihood that Chapman would defect for riches in the U.S. If the Cuban government had incentive to mislead, it would want to make its players appear to be older than they are–a 35-year-old pitcher isn’t as likely to land a multimillion dollar deal in the U.S. as a 25-year-old.

Some Cuban players’ ages have been misstated in the past–largely by agents and others trying to get the players big paydays after they have defected. But in Chapman’s case, there is documentation that he’s 21 (and will turn 22 in September), and no credible documentation of anything else. International scouts have been keeping an eye on him every since he broke into Cuba’s Serie Nacional late in 2005 as an 18-year-old. He made his first appearance for Cuba’s national team at the Pan American Games 2007 as a 19-year-old. If he was 26, there would have been no reason for Cuba to have kept him under wraps for several years when he could have been helping the team in the World Baseball Classic and other national tournaments.

http://www.baseballamerica.com/blog/draft/?p=1303

OnBaseMachine
07-15-2009, 02:01 AM
Where In The World Is Aroldis Chapman?

Posted Jul. 14, 2009 3:30 pm by Will Lingo
Filed under: Uncategorized

We’re still not sure exactly where Cuban lefthander Aroldis Chapman is, but at least we have narrowed it down to a continent.

Chapman has taken the next step toward a career in Organized Baseball with the hiring of an agent, following his defection from the Cuban national team on July 1 while in the Netherlands for the World Port Tournament. Athletes Premier International trumpeted its "representation and marketing agreement" with Chapman in a press release on Monday.

When asked where Chapman was and when he might sign, a spokesman responded: "Aroldis is currently with Edwin Mejia in Europe. We will announce where he plans to establish residency and his next steps as soon as that information is available."

Mejia is the founder of Athletes Premier International, and according to the company’s release is a licensed attorney in Massachusetts and New York. The agency was established in 2006 and "represents historically underserved athletes from Latin America and the inner cities of the United States," the release says.

"Aroldis is a tremendous person and athlete," Mejia says in the release. "He is the highest-caliber athlete to sign with our agency, and it is an honor and a privilege to help him achieve his professional and personal goals."

The release confirms that Chapman is 21, though it says he was born on Feb. 28, 1988 in Cayo Mambi, Frank Pais, Holguin, Cuba. While that birthplace is consistent with previous reports, the birthdate is six months later than the one cited in other sources: Sept. 11, 1987.

The release says that Chapman’s wife and young daughter, as well as his parents and two sisters, remain in Cuba.

It also includes his career statistics from Cuba’s professional league, Serie Nacional, where he spent four seasons with Holguin:

http://www.baseballamerica.com/blog/prospects/?p=5608

fearofpopvol1
01-10-2010, 10:17 PM
Okay, I was wrong.