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Monday grab-bag: Chapman, Dawson, Coghlan

Lots to chew on from the Aroldis Chapman deal with the Reds. At $30 million, he gets basically double what Stephen Strasburg got from the Nationals -- validating some of Scott Boras's claims about Strasburg's true market value. Chapman also gets the fifth-biggest free agent contract so far this winter (behind Matt Holliday, John Lackey, Jason Bay and Chone Figgins, and just ahead of Randy Wolf).

It also continues a trend of small-market teams paying big money for international talent. Earlier this winter, the Kansas City Royals snatched up Cuban pitcher Noel Arguelles for $7 million, and the Oakland A's (who reportedly were runners up for Chapman) paid a record bonus of $4.25 million for 16-year-old Dominican pitcher Michael Ynoa in 2008.

But what's most interesting here is that the biggest spenders in baseball -- the Yankees, Red Sox, Mets, Angels, etc. -- all eventually dropped out of the bidding, if they were in at all. Did they have some sort of concern about Chapman's ability? None that I've heard of.

More likely, the Chapman deal just highlights a market truism: The large-market teams, operating under a win-now mentality, prefer to spend their money on known commodities, while the smaller-market teams -- who operate on three- to five-year cycles in which their hopes of contention run highest -- have to take chances on pitchers like Chapman.

If nothing else, it demonstrates why the supposed need for a worldwide draft may be overblown. It's not as if the Yankees and Red Sox are signing all the best international talent.

*This is getting ridiculous. Andre Dawson spent 11 seasons in Montreal, six in Chicago. He hit 225 homers as an Expo, 174 as a Cub. Yes, he won his only MVP award as a Cub, but he won the rookie of the year as an Expo. If he goes into the Hall of Fame as anything other than an Expo, it will be a travesty.

*Finally, this is a few days old, but still pretty cool: reigning NL rookie of the year Chris Coghlan, a Damascus native whom I wrote about last month, is part of a contingent of Florida Marlins personnel that will visit troops in Iraq later this month. Coghlan's brother, Kevin, is a Marine corporal who has already served two tours of duty in Iraq.

By Dave Sheinin  |  January 11, 2010; 11:24 AM ET
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The truth of the matter is no one in Washington cares about the origins of this team in Montreal. And perhaps more cruelly to some most of us really don't identify Gary Carter or Tim Raines or Andre Dawson or any of the other Montreal 'greats' as being 'our own' or guys that we need to honor as anything other than excellent baseball players.

This wasn't like the Cleveland move to Baltimore where the Browns had a very long history in the NFL and a record under Paul Brown of dominating the league in the 1950's and early 1960's.

Posted by: leopard09 | January 11, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

As someone who grew up in SW Ohio during the Big Red Machine era and still has some redleg sympathies, this is exciting. I just hope he doesn't turn out like that other triple-digits lefty with good breaking stuff... *cough cough Brien Taylor*... Otherwise, he looks like a good one!

Posted by: B2O2 | January 11, 2010 8:00 PM | Report abuse

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