A person familiar with the negotiations (speaking on condition of anonymity because the contract hadn’t been finalized) told the Associated Press Sunday that sought-after 22-year-old Cuban left-hander Aroldis Chapman has agreed to sign for $30 million with the Cincinnati Reds.
With a 100 mph fastball, he is considered by scouts to be among the top pitching prospects in the world!
Yahoo! Sports was believed to be the first to report it.
From their story:
The Reds had been “going after him like crazy,” according to one source, and outbid several other teams, including the Los Angeles Angels, Florida Marlins and Toronto Blue Jays.
The bidding increased from an initial $15.5 million offer from the Boston Red Sox in early December to the highest reported proposal of $23 million from Toronto a few days ago.
Chapman immediately becomes the top prospect in the Reds’ system and could join a dangerous young rotation if Edinson Volquez returns healthy from Tommy John surgery and Johnny Cueto and Homer Bailey develop.
Where the 22-year-old Chapman begins the season – in the high minor leagues or in the Reds’ rotation – will likely depend on how he pitches in spring training. Scouts and executives who saw him at the Dec. 15 workout said Chapman has potential to be a No. 1 starter.
Chapman threw a bullpen session for major league teams in Houston last month; supposedly he wasn’t throwing at full speed and still hit 97 mph!
Chapman caught the attention of many during the World Baseball Classic in March; he pitched well against Australia and poorly against Japan.
Obviously it’s a huge stunner from a team that was expected to trim their opening day payroll from $71 million last season. Plus I had heard Chapman wanted to play in a large market. Once you get over the complete disbelief, you have to wonder whether they’ll decline options for Harang and Arroyo, which would shed about $20 million.