In kind of a surprising move last week, although not really, the Florida Marlins jumped into the sweepstakes for Cuban left-handed pitcher Aroldis Chapman. The Marlins reportedly offered the young phenom a five-year deal for $13 million dollars. That averages out to about $2.5 million annually.
The Red Sox have reportedly offered a similar five year deal for a little more at $15 million dollars.
As the Mets continue signing these risk/reward type players like Kelvim Escobar, Ryota Igarashi, and Clint Evert, all of whom have considerable risk, but came cheap, why haven’t the Mets made a play for what could be the best risk/reward player on the market as well as the best and healthiest starting pitcher still left?
We’ve all heard and read about the 22-year old defector who has many scouts drooling over his 102 mph fastball, but with a Mets bullpen still short a left-hander, why not take a shot on this kid and break him in as a reliever at first sort of like the Yankees did with Joba Chamberlain?
It’s been said by many, that Aroldis Chapman would easily be the overall number one pick if he were to be eligible for the Amateur Draft in June. If that is truly the case, shouldn’t the Mets (who didn’t even have a first round pick in 2009) be “all-in” on a player of this caliber and this much potential?
The types of offers being discussed are very similar to what a number one overall pick would get anyway, and considering that the Mets spent “LESS” than any other team in the Major Leagues in last year’s draft, why are they choosing to sit this one out?
Chapman has been compared to phenom Stephen Strasburg, last year’s #1 overall pick by the Nationals. That’s a heck of a comparison if you were to ask me, and it could mean the Mets would get themselves a potential ace left-handed starter to replace Johan Santana at the end of his contract. Until then, Chapman could become a viable number two starter that would certainly fill the Mets needs and for a lot less than they would have had to pay Roy Halladay or John Lackey for just one year.
“Aroldis is special,” said one scout who has monitored and watched Chapman. “He doesn’t have the command and control of Strasburg, but he could end up being another Randy Johnson. When Randy was drafted, some people said he’d never get it together and be any good. Aroldis is one of those great talents that comes around and you hope he eventually grows up enough to master it.”
You want to talk low risk and high reward players?
Well here is potentially the best of the lot.