Sep 21, 2009, 12:08 PM EST
Quick, find Andorra on a map. Not so
easy, is it? It’s safe to say Aroldis Chapman didn’t know it where it
was either before he decided to defect from Cuba. However, the
21-year-old fireballer has now established residency in the country, clearing a major hurdle to become a major league free agent.
Chapman walked out of his hotel in Rotterdam, the Netherlands
while Cuba was participating in a baseball tournament in July. His
location was not immediately known, but it appears that he was savvy
enough to take advantage of a major-league loophole which allows
players from third-party countries — no longer a product of the U.S.
embargo with Cuba — to enter the free-agent pool as opposed to the
draft. Because Chapman had a passport, he was able to get the wheels in
motion rather quickly. Another bonus, Andorra has no income tax, so
he’ll save a pretty penny in the end.
According to SI.com, Chapman may be
available for free agency before the playoffs begin. While there’s a wide
range of opinion about his skills, one scouting director told
SI.com that he projects more as a middle reliever than a front-end major league
starter. Either way, don’t expect the Yankees or Red Sox to shy away
from his 101 MPH fastball.
- Report: Red Sox make $95 million offer to Pablo Sandoval 75
- White Sox sign Adam LaRoche to two-year, $25 million deal 35
- Report: Red Sox offer Jon Lester six years, $110-120 million 72
- Report: “There is a 90 percent chance that Pablo Sandoval will sign with the Red Sox” 130
- A’s sign Billy Butler to three-year, $30 million contract 84
- Cardinals reportedly joining pursuit of Jon Lester 65
- Giancarlo Stanton’s contract is backloaded. REALLY backloaded. 148
- Braves and Cardinals swap Jason Heyward and Shelby Miller in blockbuster deal 157
- Braves and Cardinals swap Jason Heyward and Shelby Miller in blockbuster deal (157)
- Giancarlo Stanton’s contract is backloaded. REALLY backloaded. (148)
- Blue Jays sign Russell Martin to five-year, $82 million deal (135)
- Report: “There is a 90 percent chance that Pablo Sandoval will sign with the Red Sox” (130)
- Sexual assualt charges reinstated against Tigers pitcher Evan Reed (129)