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Report says Blue Jays have offered Chapman $23M contract

Aroldis Chapman defected from Cuba in July 2009

Aroldis Chapman defected from Cuba in July 2009 during a tournament in the Netherlands. Separated from his parents, sisters, girlfriend and infant daughter, the 21-year-old left-hander with a 100 mph fastball embarked for a career in the major leagues. (November 12, 2009) Credit: AP

Cuban lefthander Aroldis Chapman could be headed north of the border.

The Spanish newspaper El Nuevo Herald reported Friday that the Blue Jays have offered the hard-throwing Chapman, who defected from Cuba in August and was declared a free agent in September, a $23- million contract.

It was the third reported offer made to the lefty, whose fastball was clocked as high as 102 mph in the World Baseball Classic. The Red Sox and Marlins are the other teams reported to have made offers.

Absent from the known bidding are the Yankees and Mets. The Yankees hosted Chapman at the Stadium during Game 6 of the ALCS, but their interest has cooled considerably.

Both teams were among the 15 organizations that attended a private workout held by Chapman's new agents, Randy and Alan Hendricks, in Houston Dec. 15. Neither club was impressed enough to make a big-money offer to a pitcher who has a live arm but plenty of question marks and in no way is considered major league-ready.

"He has a very good arm, but he's got a ways to go to be a pitcher [in the majors]," one talent evaluator said.

Other teams said to be in the running for Chapman are the A's, Nationals and Angels.

Notes & quotes: The Mets claimed LHP Jay Marshall off waivers from Oakland . . . Yankees minor-league pitcher Rony Bautista was suspended for 50 games after an initial positive test for performance-enhancing drugs. Bautista tested positive for a metabolite of Boldenone.

New York Sports