The Chicago Cubs were among approximately one thousand teams on hand to scout Cuban hurler Aroldis Chapman yesterday. Chapman, 21, recently defected from the socialist paradise down south, and is seeking big-time bucks for his trouble.
In the morning at the Baseball USA complex, the left-hander tossed two separate five-minute side sessions, throwing mostly in the 92-93 mph range and topping out at 96 mph. Chapman, 21, also threw his slider and changeup.
Several teams were expected to meet with Chapman after the workout, at the offices of his agents, Randy and Alan Hendricks.
“I think it’s important that he demonstrated that he’s ready, that he’s in shape, that he’s throwing free and easy and that’s what he did,” Randy Hendricks told media outlets including MLB.com and KRIV-TV in Houston. “A lot of life on his pitches, threw real well. Not all-out, which is what we told the teams he would not do, but sufficient I think to let everybody know he’s ready for prime time.”
“He’s a hard thrower from the left side,” David Lakey, the national cross checker for the New York Mets, told MLB.com. “I think they said [he hit 96 mph on the radar gun]. That kind of arm is hard to find from the left side.”
According to sources, Boston is the only team known to have made an offer for Chapman, for $15.5 million. ESPN.
Though they were present to scout him, the Cubs are not expected to be major players for Chapman’s services. They don’t have the payroll space for a sure-thing starter, let alone a potential project. So this was all one big tease. Sorry.