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How the Reds snagged Aroldis Chapman

Jan 12, 2010, 5:30 PM EDT

MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon has a story on the Reds’ efforts to get Aroldis Chapman, dating back to his appearances in the World Baseball Classic.  They scouted him pretty heavily, stayed out of the hot stove reports, had a private workout for him no one reported, made an offer, went back and forth with the Hendricks brothers “8000 times” and then held their breath, hoping that the Yankees or Red Sox wouldn’t swoop in.

Two things of particular interest in the article. First, more evidence that, when you’re dealing with amateur free agents, the small markets have advantages that the big teams don’t. Chapman agent Hendricks:

“‘If I had a great first baseman from Cuba, do you think I’d call the
St. Louis Cardinals first?’ We wanted opportunity. We would like to put
him in a system where he’d have an opportunity to emerge sooner.”

Who says there needs to be an international draft in order to level the playing field? Amateurs may very well seek out small market or losing teams for reasons that veteran free agents — who often want to win and win now — won’t.

The second thing: Walt Jocketty used the fact that Dusty Baker speaks Spanish as a selling point for Chapman. Holy Mark Prior, Batman! That means that the Reds may very well plan on keeping him after his contract expires this year!

Good luck with that Aroldis. 

  1. Phil - Jan 12, 2010 at 6:21 PM

    “The second thing: Walt Jocketty used the fact that Dusty Baker speaks Spanish as a selling point for Chapman. Holy Mark Prior, Batman! That means that the Reds may very well plan on keeping him after his contract expires this year!”
    Thanks for letting all the air out of my balloon, Craig. So what’s the over/under on TJ surgery with Toothpick calling the shots?
    (Unrelated question again: Is there someplace on the site that gives the acceptable HTML tags and format? there’s apparently no preview function so I’d rather not go the trial and error route. thanks.)

  2. Joey B - Jan 12, 2010 at 8:24 PM

    “”‘If I had a great first baseman from Cuba, do you think I’d call the St. Louis Cardinals first?’ We wanted opportunity. We would like to put him in a system where he’d have an opportunity to emerge sooner.””
    Maybe, but the thing about starting pitching is that everyone needs it, even the rich guys. While StL only has one 1B, they, and everyone else, has 5 SP openings.

  3. Old Gator - Jan 12, 2010 at 9:19 PM

    I am reallyimpressed with the way the Reds moved so stealthily, carefully and cleverly to bag their man. You don’t often see such astute tactical thinking in baseball management anymore.
    .
    Of course, I’m also sure that offering the guy seven million dollars more than the next competitor for his services didn’t hurt any.

  4. Moses Green - Jan 12, 2010 at 9:31 PM

    That and unleashing the hounds of Zarloff in Andorra.
    Of course, I bet he’s never slept in a better bed.

  5. Sanger (Old Gator) Rainsford - Jan 12, 2010 at 10:06 PM

    No doubt Jeffrey Loria didn’t send the Chihuahua out to bid on Arnoldis because he didn’t want to lose his pet to the old Cincinnatti knife-on-the-sapling trick that Rainsford used to whack Zaroff’s (not Zarloff, but really, aside from the two of us, who gives a shit except maybe Roger Ebert?) Cossack servant.
    The same little paperback I had when I was about eleven years old that had “The Most Dangerous Game” in it also had “Leiningen and the Ants,” the story upon which The Naked Jungle, the movie that altered Charlton Heston’s political outlook, was based. I think that the trainer who was responsible for the army ant march in the movie was supposed to take the ants on “Stupid Pet Tricks” but they left him waiting out in the guest prep studio and he got…aw, do I really have the nerve to write this? Yeah, sure. Antsy, and split. But having inflicted that upon you, I should refer you to the 1923 movie version with Robert (Carl Denham, Maxie O’Hara, etc) Armstrong and Joel (Sullivan) MacRae. They changed Rainsford’s name from Sanger to Bob. Bob!!? Cut me some slack,man.
    But that was Ernie Schoedsack operating without Merrian C. Cooper – kinda like Bobby Bonilla playing for someone other than Jim Leyland.

  6. Moses Green - Jan 12, 2010 at 10:25 PM

    This thread now reminds me of the Steven Colbert episode where he looks at one punning segment title and swears to find the English major on his staff and fire him.

  7. Cynthia LaPalermo - Jan 12, 2010 at 11:09 PM

    Are roses on a first date a good

  8. Old Gator - Jan 13, 2010 at 1:20 PM

    Funny you should mention that. I reminded Colbert that he had been charging off his escort service bills as business expenses and got a terrific severance package out of the deal. I can’t tell you how much fun it is to be working the drive-thru window at White Castle, ducking into the meatlocker ever few hours to smoke a joint, and fantasizing about the girls on Nasmaste Yoga in my spare time.

  9. MVD - Jan 16, 2010 at 4:23 AM

    Can someone explain Chapman’s potential arbitration eligibility to me?

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