Dec
17

Yanks trying to set up a private workout for Chapman

By

Aroldis Chapman breaking off a slider

Via Jorge Arangure (Insider req’d), the Yankees are trying to set up a private visit with Cuban lefty Aroldis Chapman in Miami. The Yanks had someone attend Chapman’s workout in Houston on Tuesday, and according to Arangure, the southpaw looked pretty good. The weather was an issue – he ended up throwing off a wooden mound inside while wearing sneakers – yet he still hit 97 while working mostly at 92-93, and flashed a better delivery than before.

“He had a hitch in his lower body that caused his delivery to be inconsistent,” [agent Rodney] Fernandez, a former minor league pitcher in the Marlins system, said. “Teams were amazed at how quickly he’s been able to make the adjustments.”

Chapman also appears to have added some muscle to his wiry frame, likely the result of being on a better diet and conditioning program. Several clubs apparently noted that his reputation as being an immature kid is inaccurate.

“He’s a good kid and he doesn’t deserve the negative image that has been put on him,” Fernandez said. “He showed the baseball world what type of person he is. There has been some negativity about his personality, but he’s a mature kid. He wants to play in the World Series.”

Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus spoke to one baseball person that thinks Chapman could pull in as much as $30M, but I’m sticking to my $18-20M prediction. The Hendricks Brothers are now officially accepting offers, however they’re being sued by Chapman’s former agent Edwin Mejia, who got the boot last month. Because Mejia has been designated as Chapman’s sponsor per the conditions of his visa, it’s possible (though unlikely) the lefty may end up back in Andorra if his visa is revoked.

Regardless of how all that legal stuff plays out, the Yanks are clearly interested in adding Chapman’s powerful arm to their organization. The Red Sox have already made a ~$15M offer to his previous agent, and considering that there were about fifteen totals teams in attendance during his workout, you an be sure the Yanks will have some competition for his services.

Photo Credit: Gregory Bull, AP

Categories : Hot Stove League

87 Comments»

  1. DP says:

    We should sign him, then trade him, Joba, Hughes, and Montero for Halladay.

  2. anon says:

    Ill take him. Also Ill take that Matt Holliday you have over there. And this gum. Do you take Amex?

  3. A.D. says:

    This would be a nice Christmas present for Yankee fans.

  4. YankFan says:

    As has been said before, you have to take a flyer on a kid w/ his potential. Even 20M & a 40 man roster spot would not hurt this team. Same as they did w/ Brackman.

  5. Evil Empire says:

    This would do much to rejuvenate the farm system. DO WANT!

    • Mattingly's Love Child says:

      I don’t know about rejuvenate the farm system. They’d need a few impact bats to do that. There is a considerable amount of high upside pitching prospects. Kennedy being traded doesn’t really effect that.

      All that being said, the Yankees would be crazy not to want this guy. It’s like getting a top 5 draft pick while being the World Series Champs.

      • Evil Empire says:

        Well yeah he’s only one man, he can’t change the complexion of how good a farm we have all by himself. But he’d help. A lot.

        Young upside pitching > young upside hitting, especially for a team like the Yankees. Its much easier for the Yankees to acquire impact bats via FA or trades than it is to acquire impact arms.

        • Mattingly's Love Child says:

          Absolutely. The risk on young pitching is so great, you really can never have enough young pitchers that have ridiculous upside.

        • Do you think there’s an argument to be made that high upside bats are equal to high upside starters? While the pitcher may have the higher ceiling and his contribution will likely surpass that of the hitter, the hitter is also less likely to bust. In terms of ceiling, I agree that high upside arms are better than high upside bats, but in terms of floors–which may be more realistic–I’d say the bat is better than the arm.

          /incoherent rambling

          • Mattingly's Love Child says:

            I guess it depends on what type of team you are. If you’re building a team from scratch, probably the fastest way to get competitive is to get stocked with high upside hitters.
            If you’re a wealthy team that has been good for years, I’d say more the pitching the better, as they can be costly and quite risky in free agent acquisition.

            • Evil Empire says:

              Yeah this sounds about right. For the Yankees, high upside pitching is far more valuable – and really, high ceiling players in general. For small-to-mid-market teams, high floor players will server them better.

              I think that no matter whether you’re the Pirates or the Yankees though, you want pitching over hitting. Pitching pitching pitching. Its just the rarer commodity. Pitching can get you hitting through trades a lot more easily, too.

            • emac2 says:

              The home park is also relevant. It’s tough to get free agent pitchers to sign at Coors but they will play for a discount at Petco.

    • Abe says:

      It would definitely improve the system. I also love his upside. However, this would obviously not be an inexpensive farmhand, and thus take away his value as he won’t be cost controlled like the Joba’s and Phil’s of the world. He is also only 21 and is yet to prove much, which scares me.

      Nonetheless, signing him would allow for the Yankees to make use of possibly their greatest advantage when it comes to maintaining a successful baseball team: the ability to sign top flight young talent outside of the draft.
      So all in all I’m down for adding him, but I have my reservations.

      • However, this would obviously not be an inexpensive farmhand, and thus take away his value as he won’t be cost controlled like the Joba’s and Phil’s of the world.

        Yes and no.

        Chapman is probably going to draw a salary of somewhere between 3-6M for his first 5 professional years. Some of those years will be in the minors, meaning his service time clock wouldn’t start yet; after his contract expires, he’d still have some arbitration years before free agency.

        He’s going to be making like 10 times as much per season as Joba and Phil would be making (5M v. 500k), but he’s still technically “cost controlled” for the next 6-8 years.

        When you say someone’s “cost controlled”, you’re more comparing them to free agents, guys who can command salaries with AAVs in the 10M-25M range, not really a guy in the minors who may be making 3-6M but is still years from free agency.

        /nitpick’d

  6. JSquared says:

    Well, this is all I want for Christmas.

  7. terri girl says:

    why does brien taylor keep popping into my head?

  8. Jake H says:

    I think the Yanks will go hard after him. Think of it like this. He could go to the minors for a full year to develop then be put into the #5 hole next year if he develops to replace Andy.

  9. Abe says:

    So let’s assume that the only way the Yankees can get any of these guys is under the following contractual conditions:

    1) Damon at 2 years and $20 mil
    2) Sheets at 1 year $8 mil
    3) Johnson at 1 year $10 mil
    4) Chapman at 5 years $25 mil

    Let’s also assume the Yankees are only willing to bring on 2 of the following 4 players.

    Which 2 would you take?

  10. JohnC says:

    Hope they sign him. On a sad note, Cincinnatti Bengals reciever Chris Henry has died from injuries suffered when he fell out of a pickup truck driven by his fiance following a domestic dispute. My prayers and deepest sympathies go out to his family.

  11. Thomas says:

    Random question, who would you rather have Chapman for $20M or Ynoa for $4.25?

  12. westcoastyanks says:

    If the new stadium continues to play like it did last year, then a power lefty is going to be a huge weapon for the Yankees going forward. This seems like one of those “perfect fit” scenarios that could cause the Yanks to go over any projected budget. I just hope that he doesn’t get too close to Igawa when he’s doing his minor league internship – who knows if Kei is contagious.

  13. aj says:

    Why are we talking about money? Isn’t Chapman separate from the major league payroll? It’s the Yankees we’re talking about for God’s sake. If they want him, they should GET him!

    • Isn’t Chapman separate from the major league payroll?

      We think that. We don’t know that, however. The team could very well consider him just another free agent being brought over from another league, like a Contreras or a Matsui or something, and count him against the big league payroll.

      Particularly if he gets a 40-man spot, which is likely.

  14. Geg says:

    This is the only way they can get elite talent into the system. They got to bring him
    in

    • Steve H says:

      Yup, considering this is how they brought in Hughes/Joba/Granderson/Swisher….

      Oh wait, nope, not how any of that happened.

      • Bo says:

        They certainly paid over slot for Hughes and Joba and Kennedy and Jackson.

        That is how they have to bring talent into the farm system. They will never have a shot at the Strasburgs or Harpers. They have to dominate the Int market to add premium talent. If Chapman were in the draft he’d go 1-2.

  15. seth says:

    i will bet yanks are not going after him to be in the minor leagues for all of 2010

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