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Yankees intrigued by Chapman's potential

Dec 30, 2009, 11:32 PM EDT

Aroldis Chapman might be the most interesting player on the free agent market, and not just because of his agent fiasco, his potential tax issues and the questionable company he keeps.

No, Chapman is a largely unknown flame-thrower from Cuba with tantalizing talents of Nuke LaLouche proportions. He has been attracting plenty of interest around baseball, but it remains a mystery as to who will get him.

The Yankees seem particularly interested, at least when you look at these quotes from senior vice-president of baseball operations Mark Newman in an interview with LoHud.com:

“Who knows what the price tag is going to be on this deal,” Newman said. “He’s not where (Stephen) Strasburg was.” When Chapman threw a bullpen for scouts earlier this month, Newman said the reports were exactly what he expected: Huge fastball. Spotty command. Inconsistent secondary pitches. “But if you don’t like that, you need to be in another business,” Newman said.

Newman also said that if the Yankees sign him, Chapman would likely start in A or Double-A as he works on improving his control and off-speed stuff. “And when he gets that, he’s going to take off.”

Some candid quotes about an intriguing player. It will be interesting to see where Chapman winds up.

Follow me on Twitter at @bharks.

  1. Old Gator - Dec 31, 2009 at 1:14 AM

    This guy sounds to me like he’s going to be the Cuban Ryne Duren more than the next Nuke LaLoosh. You won’t have to tell him to brain the mascot; he’ll just do it on incentive. On the bright side, as with Duren, nobody is going to be dumb enough to dig in against this guy – not even Omar Minaya.

  2. Jason @ IIATMS - Dec 31, 2009 at 6:58 AM

    A Ryne Duren reference in a comment?!?! Love it. I’ve had dinner with Duren before, nice guy!
    As for questionable company, what’s 20 year old who’s about to strike it rich SUPPOSED to do on a recruiting trip around the USA? Stop at museums of natural history or museums of unnatural breasts?

  3. Old Gator - Dec 31, 2009 at 9:08 AM

    Let’s face it, there are few municipal facilities a visit to which would be as instructive and useful to a young guy about to go out on the road as a Museum of Unnatural Breasts. Once he’s really good at it, he should be able to do lights-out braille readings of the serial numbers on the implants so that he’ll be able to know if he winds up with the same strange more than once a season, especially if she’s not in his division. In these days of palimony and fake pregnancies, a kid with $10 million in the bank can’t be too careful.

  4. ecp - Dec 31, 2009 at 11:26 AM

    Oh, for heaven’s sake, there are 30 teams “intrigued by Chapman’s potential.” If the Yankees are more intriged than others, why did they barely have a presence at his workout?
    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2009/12/olney-on-mets.html
    The Mark Newman quotes are nothing more than garden variety commentary on the guy and to me don’t read like a high level of interest. LoHud.com, however, will interpret it with their usual zeal.

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