Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports has now confirmed (via Twitter) that the Reds have signed the Cuban lefty, Aroldis Chapman, to a five-year deal worth $30 million. The Angels and Blue Jays were long thought to be the front runners, with the Marlins and Red Sox also in the mix.
Chapman, 22, will join a highly talented and young staff that includes Edinson Volquez, Johnny Cueto, and Aaron Harang.
Chapman burst onto the scene in the 2009 World Baseball Classic, when he struck out eight batters in six and a third innings pitched for the Cuban team, despite going 0-1 with a 5.68 ERA. The lefty also went 11-4 with a 4.03 ERA in 2008-2009, striking out 130 in 118 1/3 IP.
As many as 15 teams went to see Chapman pitch in Cuba earlier this offseason, one of which was the Yankees. Among many perks, teams were most impressed by his triple digit fastball.
From a Yankee perspective, you can just be happy he didn’t end up within the divison. The Yankees were never really serious about him anyway. You can also be happy he didn’t end up on the Angels, which were for a long time the front runners.
But, to every team and fan in Major League Baseball, I think we can all now be worried about this staff out of Cincinnati. If you ask me, there is no younger more talented group of pitchers. Props to the Reds officials for putting that together.
Poll of the Day:
Is Chapman too much of an unknown for five-years, $30MM?(polls)
12:59 p.m. According to a tweet from Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports, Aroldis Chapman has signed a $30MM deal with an unknown National League team.
1:03 p.m. Looking back at some reports, it looked as though the main suitors for Chapman were AL teams (Angels and Blue Jays.) But according to SI.com’s Jon Heyman, the Marlins and Nationals were two NL teams interested. Marlins offered $16MM, so it’s unlikely they brought that offer up to $30M:M.
1:26 p.m. Jeff Passan said in the same tweet that Chapmans plane landed in Ft. Lauderdale this morning. That would be an indication that it would be a Florida team. Marlins are the only NL Florida team.
1:28 p.m. Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports says in another tweet that Chapmans plane left Ft. Lauderdale at 9:20 this morning en route to Cincinnati. Another source told him that the $30MM is for five years.
2:07 p.m. Buster Olney tweets that the Padres and Dodgers are not the team that signed Chapman. He adds a little later that the Rockies and Braves are also not the team. Buster also adds that the Mets have been out of the running.
2:10 p.m. Jeff Passan now tweets that the team is an NL Central team and mentions that a team source said the Red were “going after [Chapman] like crazy.”
2:23 p.m. ESPN.com now reports that Chapman is close to a MLB deal, but it is not yet complete. Chapmans representatives told ESPN.com that the Reds were “possible” although no deal was completed. One source also told ESPN The Magazine’s Jorge Arangure that the team is the Reds.
2:51 p.m. Jeff Blair says (via Twitter) that he hears Chapman has finalized a five-year, $30MM with the Reds.
Updates will come as more information becomes available.