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
  • DP

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

    • DP

      /not saying his name

      • Mattingly’s Love Child

        That was asking for him to show up though!

    • Mick Swag

      dude you must be an idiot… have you lost ur mind? all that for a 33 yr old Roy Halladay? what kind of crack are you smoking? OMG!

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

        It’s a joke. Also, you’re in violation of our Commenting Guidelines. No personal attacks. Do not let it happen again.

  • anon

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

  • A.D.

    This would be a nice Christmas present for Yankee fans.

  • YankFan

    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.

  • http://riveraveblues.com/2009/11/open-thread-you-have-the-red-sox-19930/ the artist formerly known as (sic)

    yes please.

  • http://riveraveblues.com/2009/11/open-thread-you-have-the-red-sox-19930/ the artist formerly known as (sic)

    what exactly is a wooden mound?

  • Evil Empire

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

    • Mattingly’s Love Child

      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

        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

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

        • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

          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

            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

              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

              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

      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.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

        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

        • Abe

          Yet another reason to die at the hands of my own sword.

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

            Nah, you weren’t wrong, per se, it was just a little more borderline of a semantics nitpick. You’re good.

        • Ed

          My own nitpick here. Most bigger name IFA’s sign a contract that requires the team to release them after the initial contract ends.

          Take Matsui – he signed a 3 year, $21m deal with the Yankees. At the end, the Yankees were required to extend him or release him after the end of those 3 years. The release deadline roughly corresponded with the start of the free agency period.

          Those contracts did have more meaning under the previous CBA though, where if the team did not offer arbitration (as required by Matsui’s contract), they could not resign him until May 1.

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

            Very true. We’ll have to see what Chapman’s contract looks like.

  • JSquared

    Well, this is all I want for Christmas.

    • Evil Empire

      …maybe a Johnny Damon or Nick Johnson stocking stuffer too.

      • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

        Since we’re talking about Christmas wishes….

        ALL THREE!

        • JSquared

          Johnny Damon better be on sale?

          • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

            Yes.

      • Mattingly’s Love Child

        Johnson…stocking stuffer….heh heh

        • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

          This: http://www.techdigest.tv/irobo.....-robot.jpg (safe)

          Get your head out of it.

          • Mattingly’s Love Child

            Very nice.

            It’s a slow week at work, so I’m pretty bored these days….

    • Mattingly’s Love Child

      My wife and I agreed not to do gifts this year (we’re trying to sell our house, going to lose a bunch of $$). So it would be nice to get a gift that doesn’t cost me anything!

  • terri girl

    why does brien taylor keep popping into my head?

    • Mattingly’s Love Child

      Taylor was going to be a stud until that fight. His production wasn’t an issue (well maybe the walks were going to be an issue). If Chapman has too many command issues, they’ll move him to the pen. I believe Klaw said that his worst case scenario would be as a power closer….

      • Steve H

        I saw Brien Taylor when he was in Albany. Abso-friggin-lutely lights out. He was a guaranteed star until he got hurt.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

          That guy was a bust.

          How many games did he play in the majors????

          Exactly. Theres a reason he never made it. Waste of a top overall pick.

          /SalBoGrantLanny’d

          • Jay

            Doesn’t ‘bust’ imply that he wasn’t good enough? Taylor was certainly good enough. Stupid to get in that fight, but turning his back on his brother would’ve raised flags, too, wouldn’t it?

            The only time I’d classify an injured player a ‘bust’ would be if the injury was predictable, like recurring shoulder trouble, or a violent delivery, or something like that. If a guy gets drafted, then hit by a bus, it wouldn’t really be fair to call him a ‘bust’, would it?

            • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

              I was joking.

              SalBoGrantLanny is a well known nincompoop.

              • Bo

                You may be the only boob in the world, Eric, who doesnt think that Brien Taylor was a bust.

                But that again shows what you know about the game.

    • A.D.

      If he’s Brien Taylor v2 that would be excellent, especially since I don’t know how many trailer parks there are in Andorra.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

        Well played.

  • Jake H

    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.

    • Abe

      A bit optimistic, IMO.

      • DP

        I believe he could, I just hope we aren’t in a position where we need him in the rotation next year (at least on Opening Day)

        • DP

          Next year=2011

    • Evil Empire

      Yeah he definitely needs at least a year in the minors. That’d be a pretty cool passing of the baton, one tall lefty replacing another.

    • bonestock94

      I’d like to think that teams now realize what rushing someone through the minors can result in.

      • Jake H

        I agree but the kid has a golden arm. Also prospects have flown through the minors and been fine. Look at Kershaw. The guy had pretty much 1 season in the minors. Pitched 61 innings the next year and was up.

  • Abe

    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?

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

      Priority #1: Chapman. Above all others. His AAV will be LOWER, his ceiling is MUCH higher.

      Priority #2: Adding a bat. In your proposed scenarios, that means either Johnson or Damon. AAV’s are identical. Pick whomever, I don’t really care.

      I love Sheets, but, unless we’re going to increase the budget, I say no.

      • DP

        I agree on the priorites. If this is really the cost for all 3, we’d only be increasing the budget by 5 million or so, and still less than 2008.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

          I just don’t think we’re signing two more non-Chapman players. I think we’re holding the line with no budget increases.

          Just my educated from reading the tea leaves.

          • Abe

            I agree.

    • DP

      Chapman is more or less a non factor in the payroll. Even if the contract wasn’t backloaded, which I’m sure it will be, they have 3.5 mill for IFA. So in the unlikely event Damon and Johnson are the same AAV, I’ll go with all but Johnson.

    • Mattingly’s Love Child

      Damon and Chapman. Damon for the short-term and Chapman for the long term. I have lots of faith in Hughes/Joba, making Sheets a luxury. Johnson is Damon minus the ability to play the outfield and run the bases well. I’d prefer someone who can run the bases and possibily play the field a little bit (even if badly).

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

        Fun Fact of the day:

        Johnny Damon, wRC+, 2006-2009:
        121, 107, 130, 132 (avg: 122.5)

        Nick Johnson, wRC+, 2006-2009:
        152, N/A (DNP), 129, 130 (avg: 137.0)

    • JobaWockeeZ

      FA signings wouldn’t affect IFA signings would it? Aren’t they a seperate budget?

      • toad

        Separate budget, maybe, but all from the same pocket in the end.

        One has to affect the other.

  • JohnC

    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.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

      Seconded.

      R.I.P. He was turning his life and career around, as well. Tragic.

    • http://riveraveblues.com/2009/11/open-thread-you-have-the-red-sox-19930/ the artist formerly known as (sic)

      Yeah, RIP.

      /hopes for an exemption to the off-topic rules

    • Evil Empire

      Wow. So sad and tragic. R.I.P. Mr. Henry.

    • aj

      He fell out, or his fiance pushed him out? Or she was defending herself from him? It seems like there should be more to this story, not to be insensitive.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

        Since
        A) It was a pickup truck
        B) He was in the flatbed back
        C) She was driving

        I’m going to assume he fell out and was not PUSHED out. It’s pretty hard to physically reach back into the flatbed of a pickup truck while driving in the drivers seat.

        Now, it’s possible she may have been driving erratically in an effort to MAKE him fall out, but that would just baseless speculation absent any actual forensic reports.

        • Evil Empire

          I wonder if she’ll be charged with manslaughter?

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

            If something fishy turns up, perhaps.

  • Thomas

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

    • Jake H

      Chapman. Pitched against better competition and is further along. Also his stuff is better and he is left handed. Ynoa also got hurt his first year with an arm injury.

    • Abe

      I believe it is spelled Inoa.

      • Abe

        Actually either way is fine. My bad.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

          You have shamed yourself, Abe. Please commit seppuku immediately.

          • Abe

            I shall. I actually remember learning about that in global history a couple of years back: when Japanese samurai’s kill themselves by stabbing themselves in the stomach. I can’t believe I remember that.

            • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

              We would have also accepted hara-kiri.

        • Abe

          In fact there is an entire section on his Wikipedia page regarding his spelling. According to the website,

          Michel Ynoa is the original spelling of Michael’s name. His first name was anglicized to “Michael” after he signed with the Oakland Athletics in July 2008. [4] Although Michael’s last name is more commonly spelled with an “I,” as of February 2009, he will be using the original spelling “Ynoa.” “According to A’s director of player development Keith Lieppman, [Y]noa will start going by the original spelling of his last name, ‘Ynoa.’ Somewhere along the line, there was a mixup on the spelling, and the pitcher’s name made its way into the public forum with an ‘I.’”

    • Geg

      Ynoa is hurt

  • westcoastyanks

    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.

  • aj

    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!

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

      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.

  • Geg

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

    • Steve H

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

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

      • Bo

        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.

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  • seth

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