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MLB declares Cuban defector Chapman a free agent

Sep 25, 2009, 7:10 PM EDT

In a move that was widely expected to come either this month or in early October, Cuban defector Aroldis Chapman was declared a free agent on Friday.
Chapman made it through the red tape in record time, in large part because he managed to escape Cuba with his passport. The 21-year-old defected in July while taking part in the tournament held in the Netherlands and established residency in Andorra earlier this month.
Known for a fastball that has reportedly reached as high as 102 mph, Chapman has a chance to set a new record for a contract given to a Cuban defector, surpassing the four-year, $32 million deal Jose Contreras received from the Yankees after the 2002 season. He lacks polish and may require time in the minors before helping a contending team, but his youth and huge arm will land him a big deal. Expect usual suspects like the Yankees, Red Sox, Angels and Dodgers to express interest in the left-hander.

  1. JORGE AKEL - Sep 26, 2009 at 12:07 PM

    You can be sure that he will sign with the YANKEES.

  2. Joel Friedman - Sep 28, 2009 at 8:52 AM

    Yankees or Angels are the best bets, but the Mets will have to be in the hunt to try and save Omar Minaya’s job. The Wilpon’s will have to loosen the pursestrings for this if the Mets are to regain any credibility with their fan base.

  3. Daniel Seeber - Feb 19, 2010 at 9:08 PM

    Very interesting read. Thanks.

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