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Aroldis Chapman to sign with Reds

Cuban defector Aroldis Chapman, labeled by some evaluators as the left-handed version of Stephen Strasburg, will not be paired with Strasburg in the Nats' rotation. Sunday, according to Yahoo! Sports, Chapman struck a five-year, $30-million deal with the Cincinnati Reds. The Nats were among the many teams in the hunt for the pitcher, and less than a month ago, GM Mike Rizzo attended Chapman's personal workout in Houston.

Chapman's deal with the Reds, if nothing else, adds perspective to the value of untested presumed aces in the open market. Chapman is 22. Strasburg is 21. Both have fastballs that have been clocked at more than 100 mph. But unlike Chapman, Strasburg, as a U.S.-born college pitcher, was subject to the amateur draft and was able to negotiate only with the team that selected him.

During negotiations with the Nationals, agent Scott Boras sometimes made the theoretical point that Strasburg could command between $30 and $50 million in an open market. He eventually agreed to a four-year, $15.1-million deal.

By Chico Harlan  |  January 10, 2010; 3:37 PM ET
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Next: Nats were 'in it to the end' with Chapman [Updated]


It will be interesting to see because I just read that the deal could be for as many as 10 years. If the deal is 10 years and 30 mil, that actually makes Strasburg's contract far superior.

Posted by: Cavalier83 | January 10, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Pretty soon four years of Strasburg for $15.1 million is going to look like an absolute steal.

Look at the millions thrown at mediocrity. Denny Neagle -- $51 million over five; Chan Ho Park -- $65 million over five; Mike Hampton $121 million over eight. If Barry Zito got $126 million over seven, what do you think Strasburg's going to get once he hits the free market?

Once more, with feeling -- Strasburg and Harper both will eventually land huge New York paydays.

I just want a three-year window with them both on the field -- long enough to take our shot at a ring.

Posted by: Drew8 | January 10, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

I think it was a 5 year deal for Chapman. I also think that if the DC baseball market is eventually developed correctly the Nats could regularly compete with New York teams when it comes to $.

Posted by: alex35332 | January 10, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Look on the bright side -- at least it wasn't the Yankees or Red Sox who got him..

Posted by: VPaterno | January 10, 2010 5:59 PM | Report abuse

The Chapman signing by CIN is a scary amount of $$ on an unproven player, imo. Guessing that $10M of the total is a signing bonus, that still amounts to $4M/yr for a very raw talent.

Posted by: BinM | January 10, 2010 7:01 PM | Report abuse

It would have been sweet to have him though..damn. Well hoepfully they will use that unspent money to sign Garland.

Posted by: Cartaldo | January 10, 2010 7:22 PM | Report abuse

The only CUBAN the Nationals will EVER sign is Livan Hernandez..... There was NEVEr a chance in HE!!...he would sign to play in GNATStown....

Posted by: FletcherChristian1 | January 10, 2010 7:39 PM | Report abuse

oh man, how embarrassed is he gonna be when he realizes the reds are not the red sox!!

Posted by: sect104 | January 10, 2010 8:00 PM | Report abuse

NOW it's time to pull a trade with Cincinnati.

Posted by: Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me | January 10, 2010 8:18 PM | Report abuse

Drew Storen chat over on WNFF.,16387.0.html

Posted by: NatsNut | January 10, 2010 8:26 PM | Report abuse

I bet the Reds will change their tune when they realize that they just signed a $30 million contract with a 35-year-old right-handed banana farmer from the Dominican... This is a lot of money that's better off being spent by the Nats on a better, proven starter, rather than an unproven head case who probably will flame out in the minors...

Posted by: gr8day4bsbll | January 10, 2010 9:00 PM | Report abuse

and to think they could have had Daniel Cabrera for the ML minimum.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | January 10, 2010 9:18 PM | Report abuse

Other then the 30 seconds the story would have gotten locally, its okay to take a back seat to lunacy sometimes.

John Garland please pick up the white courtesy phone located at terminal C, a Mr. Rizzo is calling!

Posted by: TippyCanoe | January 10, 2010 9:18 PM | Report abuse

he Chapman signing by CIN is a scary amount of $$ on an unproven player, imo. Guessing that $10M of the total is a signing bonus, that still amounts to $4M/yr for a very raw talent.

Posted by: BinM | January 10, 2010 7:01 PM |
If this signing doesn't point out the need for a world-wide draft, nothing does. Chapman may be the richest pitcher in A-ball next season. And good luck in the pitcher/s graveyard known as the Great American Smallpark.

Posted by: leetee1955 | January 10, 2010 10:52 PM | Report abuse

Johnny Cueto, Homer Bailey, Edison Volquez and this kid under control for years? Not a bad way to work there.

My guess is that Aaron Harang gets moved by MLK day -- LAA maybe.

Posted by: dfh21 | January 10, 2010 11:06 PM | Report abuse

If Barry Zito got $126 million over seven, what do you think Strasburg's going to get once he hits the free market?
Posted by: Drew8 | January 10, 2010 4:23 PM
Aw, c'mon, man. Zito had won 100 games in the bigs when he signed that contract. Can't we let the new guy get a major-league batter out before we schedule his 2016 (???) payday?

leetee, I concur that Murcan boys and them furners should be treated the same. The other idea I've heard is to just make everyone a free agent. Some folk object that the rich teams will sign all the best players. I don't know that that's wrong ... but then, they didn't sign this one.

Posted by: Scooter_ | January 11, 2010 1:39 AM | Report abuse

The failure to sign Chapman, along with the decision to spend millions for older players who will be gone before the Nationals can hope to to win a championship, illustrates the Nats' abandonment of "The Plan" and, in my opinion, is a huge mistake.

It's not easy to land a very young starting pitcher with superstar potential. They just don't come around that often.

The Nationals are spending $10.5 million this year and next for 1) a 38 year old, way-over-the-hill catcher who last year hit .249 with 10 home runs, and 2) a 31-year old pitcher who even today would be a back-of the-rotation guy on a championship team (especially considering his poor performance late last year). And after they've spent that $10.5 million per year, both players will be gone.

For less than half that per year, they could have locked in for the long-term a pitcher who looks a lot like a left-handed Strasburg. It shouldn't have been a close call.

I understand that the Nationals are on the defensive after two 100+ losing seasons and feel pressure from fans to improve quickly. But if you want to win a championship, you have to focus on the future. If the Nats continue to put short-term mediocrity above the potential for sustainable, long-term success, they will never get there.

Posted by: Dynatic | January 11, 2010 5:01 AM | Report abuse

An interesting post from Bill Ladson indicating Doug Davis has interest in the Nats but believes the Nats will focus on finding a second baseman before returning their attention to pitching. Davis makes a little bit of a nice case for himself saying that he could help other pitchers learn how to scout other teams, ensure that he takes the mound every fifth day, and provide some leadership. Davis is obviously not a #1/#2 starter, but he could be a stablizing force at the backend.

Ladson also says Hudson is still asking for too much money. It certainly seems like Hudson just doesn't want to play here.

Posted by: natbiscuits | January 11, 2010 8:23 AM | Report abuse

The problem with your thought dynatic is that Chapman is year away from helping the club while the players signed can help now. Eventually the 100 loss seasons have to end for the fans and the players to see some progress. I guess it is easy for you to say spend the $30M on this one pitch pitcher, after all it isn't your money. This becomes a bad decision when Chapman becomes a force in MLB, until then the Nats are just one of 31 teams who weren't convinced this guy is worth this kind of money when so little is known about him.

Posted by: SCNatsFan | January 11, 2010 8:28 AM | Report abuse

Wow - who whizzed in your Wheaties this morning Dynatic? Talk about Monday morning blues.

Spending huge dollars on unproven players is nothing short of stupid in my opinion. The Nats have already taken a flyer on SS to develop him. You cannot routinely pay millions of dollars for players to labor at the MiLB level.

As for 'over the hill' signings: would you rather Josh Bard or Will (who?) Nieves be the everyday catcher, or force back Flores before he's healed completely? Or sign Pudge - a future Hall of Famer - to bring first hand catching knowledge and ability to teach this highly praised Rule 5 pick Flores, or this potential 1st round pick Harper how to go about this job the correct way? Plus you watch - Pudge wants 3000 hits, and to get those AB he has to be effective. Rzzz knows what he's doing.

As for Marquis - his numbers have been getting steadily better for the past 4 years. He pitched in Colorado and has an ERA of 4.03. Out of Coors Field for 15 starts and his ERA will drop and his WHIP will improve. Marquis also is a good signing for two years. SOMEONE has to start the games, and unless you want the likes of Ryan Drese, Pedro Astacio, Beltran Perez, Mike Bacsik, Jason Simontacci and Jerome Williams taking the ball every 5th day. I say go with the all-star.

Plus there is no plan abandonment here. The Nats signed 13 of their first 14 picks.

Go Nats!

Posted by: dand187 | January 11, 2010 8:36 AM | Report abuse

I think Rizzo going about this rebuilding the right way the fans need to have a reason to come out to the ballpark in 2010 and players like Pudge and Marquis give us a reason to do that,listen i'm not interested in flying up to DC from Atlanta to witness another 100 loss season and i think the moves Rizzo have made gives this team a chance to change that dynamic call me naive but i can at least hope.

Posted by: dargregmag | January 11, 2010 8:55 AM | Report abuse

Signing Chapman would have been a nice thing to do, but the Nationals need to focus on getting one more starting pitcher for this season more than a prospect for 2 seasons from now. The old plan was fine, so long as you did not expect anyone to watch the games. The new plan is better.

Posted by: alex35332 | January 11, 2010 8:59 AM | Report abuse

Chapman is no where near as polished as SS and some even believe he's only going to be a closer because he only has two pitches. While it would have been nice to take a shot with him, I can understand not wanted to invest twice as much as SS on a guy who is much more of a gamble - both physically and mentally.

Maybe we can get Harang from the Reds now.

Posted by: sec307 | January 11, 2010 9:39 AM | Report abuse

According to the Cot's website, Harang has a trade 'kicker' in his contract, where if he's traded, his 2011 salary becomes a $14M mutual option, with a $2.5M buyout. Additionally, his GS, IP, K-W ratio & WHIP have been in steady decline since 2007.

Between the salary kicker & the 3-year statistical declines, I'd pass if I were in Rizzo's shoes. Harang is becoming a #4-5SP, and that's not what the team is looking for.

Posted by: BinM | January 10, 2010 3:29 PM

If you wanted to look for a trade w/CIN, I'd rather have Arroyo - He's proven to be more durable,and he's cheaper.

Posted by: BinM | January 11, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

I was actually kind of relieved to see we hadn't spent this money on Chapman; we've got quite a bit already invested in an unproven pitcher (SS) and I've still got to watch games in 2010. It also was a bit scary that the big money teams were backing off on this guy after initial interest.

Its interesting that any player that Ladson has profiled as 'interested' ends up on the roster (Capps, Marquis) so maybe Davis will be next. I was surprised that the Nats didn't sign Myers.

Second base must be O Dog, who MLB Network characterizes as "reluctant' to come here. If that is indeed the case, get somebody else. I'd rather have Ronnie Belliard back than a reluctant O Dog.

Posted by: raymitten | January 11, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Hudson is reluctant to come here because he'd bat 8th on most days. The club should go with an internal option to man 2B, maybe a platoon.

O-Dog is right not to want to go to a club on a 1 year deal and be put in a situation that will neither be a winning one or one that gets him a contract beyond 2010 -- his last real chance at money in his career. BUT, he may not have much real choice about where he ends up at the end of the day.

Posted by: dfh21 | January 11, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Last year at this time they were saying Dunn was reluctant to come here. Guess what? He came here, and he liked it. Same could be true for Hudson.

Posted by: JennEric1 | January 11, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse

if we come away with Marquis, Capps and Davis I'd say that is a pretty successful offseason.

Posted by: SCNatsFan | January 11, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

I'm on the same page with dargramps re. Rizzo.

Also, Boz has a new post up, I see.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | January 11, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

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