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Red Sox Weren’t In On Chapman at End

01.10.10 at 9:34 pm ET
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The Aroldis Chapman sweepstakes concluded on Sunday, as multiple reports have established that the Reds will sign the Cuban left-hander to a five-year, $25 million deal that will include a club option for a sixth season. The Cuban was widely scouted as having electric stuff — an easy conclusion to draw given that his fastball registered in excess of 100 mph when he pitched at the World Baseball Classic — and as a result, the interest in the 22-year-old was widespread.

The Sox, according to a major-league source, made a concerted effort to acquire Chapman earlier this winter. The team made an offer to him in November (first reported by ESPN.com at $15.5 million — more than the record-breaking sum that No. 1 overall draft pick Stephen Strasburg received when he signed with the Nationals).

But shortly after the Sox made that offer, Chapman changed agents, from Edwin Mejia to Hendricks Sports Management. The Sox pulled their offer when Chapman changed agents, and though the club sent an evaluator to watch the pitcher at a workout in Houston in mid-December, it never made another formal offer, according to the source.

While Boston recognized Chapman’s significant potential, the team also viewed him as a very high-risk investment. As such, given that the team had some questions about the pitcher’s makeup, arm action and aptitude — a relevant concern, since multiple major-league talent evaluators suggested that Chapman may be best suited to make his professional debut in the U.S. in High-A ball, and would require significant development in order to reach the majors — the Sox did not re-engage significantly in the bidding for the Cuban defector once it became clear that other clubs were going to offer far more than what Boston believed to be the pitcher’s value point.

For a scouting report on Chapman, click here.

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