Reports came out earlier today proclaiming that Cuban sensation Aroldis Chapman signing a 5-year, $30 million deal with the Cincinnati Reds. Chapman was rumored to the Marlins, Blue Jays, and Angels, however, the Reds bid was $10 million more than any other offer Chapman received.
Click here for the Aroldis Chapman story.
A 6'4, 22-year old, hard-throwing lefty who has topped out at 102 mph. Chapman is known for his fastball and a nice slider. People first started to notice Chapman in the World baseball Classic as he blew pitches past opposing teams and impressed scouts.
In 2008-09, Chapman went 11-4 with a 4.03 ERA, striking out 130 in 118 1/3 inning pitched. He led the Serie Nacional in K's, tied for 4th in wins, was 5th with 62 walks and tied for the most wild pitches (14).
Chapman was defected from Cuba just before the 2009 World Port Tournament started. Chapman then established residence in the Andorra, making him a free agent eligible to be signed by any Major League team.
Why the Reds and where did the money come from?
Other than the fact that the Reds have supposedly offered the most cash to Chapman, I believe he chose the Reds because of the work Mario Soto does with the club and Dominicans Edinson Volquez and Johnny Cueto being on the current pitching staff. I think it will be easier for the young left-hander to fit in because of this and I think all three will serve as great mentors.
The money is a good question? Re-structuring Rolen's deal did help but it makes me think that we will be dealing Harang before the season starts. If not, we could shed almost $20 million from our payroll after this upcoming season by declining options for Harang and Arroyo
I don't think Chapman will come in and start right away, however, I like the signing if it's true and I like how the Reds front office decided to fork over some money for a highly-touted prospect. Can you imagine a "staff of the future" with a healthy Edinson Volquez, Johnny Cueto, Homer Bailey, Travis Wood, and potentially Chapman and 2009 1st-rounder Mike Leake (although Leake may be in the bullpen).