A third offer made to the hard-throwing lefty Aroldis Chapman has come to light and it wasn’t made by the Yankees, whose interest in the Cuban has cooled considerably over the last month or so. It’s a far cry from the significant interest they initially showed after Chapman, who defected from Cuba last August, was declared a free agent in September.
The Spanish newspaper El Nuevo Herald, based on Miami, reported Friday that the Blue Jays offered Chapman a $23 million contract and that the Angels made an offer in the neighborhood of that, though a bit less. Chapman is expected to make a decision soon and it all but looks as if his final destination won’t be the Bronx, where he visited with the Yankees for Game 6 of the ALCS.
SI’s Jon Heyman has the final six teams in play for Chapman as the Blue Jays, Nationals, Marlins, Red Sox, A's and Angels.
The first reported offer to Chapman was in November, a $15.5 million deal proposed by the Red Sox. The El Nuevo Herald said the Marlins raised their previous offer of $13 million to $16 million.
About half of baseball, including the Yankees and Mets, sent scouts to Houston Dec. 15 to watch Chapman throw. But while one of the lefty’s new representatives, Randy Hendricks, said the throwing session was “sufficient to let everybody know he's ready for prime time," others in baseball haven't been so sure.
Brian Cashman said at the winter meetings, the week before Chapman’s session in Houston, that the pitcher would "not be a guy we’re looking at in 2010 in our rotation.”
A talent evaluator I spoke to reiterated an opinion shared by many, saying of Chapman that he has a “very good arm but he’s got a ways to go to be a pitcher,” in the majors.
The Yankees seem to share that view and the club just isn’t prepared to spend the huge dollars being asked on a guy with so many question marks.