Sheldon takes us step-by-step through the process of signing Chapman
The Reds were in negotiations the whole time, since Chapman's big workout in front of the league in mid-December. Chapman's agent Randy Hendricks said one of the determining factors was the Reds youth and overall crumminess.
"So here's the metaphor I used when teams expressed concern this would be for just the highest bidder, like New York or Boston," Hendricks said. "'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."
Jon Heyman asked a Reds official why they took the gamble on Chapman
"Besides throwing fastballs through walls? Well above average slider... average curve... Seems to really understand the cultural bridge he needs to cross... Perfect pitcher's body... VERY coordinated. Picks up mechanical corrections and repeats ... Relatively low number of innings pitched... VERY clean physical specimen... Seems to ask the right questions... Knows he needs to develop a changeup, so he asked about hooking up with Mario Soto... Out of the chute, he appears to 'get it.'''
So Chapman sought out Mario Soto, not the other way around. The kid's got moxxy, fer sher.
John Hickey at FanHouse says history is stacked against Aroldis Chapman
He says Cuban pitchers have not fared so well coming to the US. He cites Ariel Prieto, who the A's drafted back in '95. Prieto was dogged by injuries and was out of baseball by 2001. He argues that there just isn't enough information available on these guys when they are signed. Of course, he pretty much ignores the success stories of guys like the Hernandez brothers, Danys Baez, and Jose Contreras. Definitely not a good argument.
The Fay passes along an amusing anecdote
The first chance Chapman will get to face big-league hitters as a Red will be in spring training. This is often much tougher on the hitter than the pitcher, as the hitter likely hasn't faced live pitching in a few months. An unnamed Reds hitter and an unnamed official had this text-message exchange:
Official: We signed a kid who throws 100. Watch yourself when you hit against him.
Player: My hamstring hurts already.
Tangotiger released his yearly Marcel projections
and again FanGraphs has integrated them into their player pages. FanGraphs is my favorite stats site on the web, and one of the many reasons is because they have so many different projection systems set up side-by-side for easy comparison. If you haven't taken part in their Fans Projections project yet, head on over there and check it out.
Fay tells us who is going where for the Reds Caravan later this month
You can check here to see when the Caravan might be coming to your area. For all you 614ers out there, they will be at the Polaris Mall on Sunday the 31st. I plan on being there as well.
The Crawfish Boxes thinks the Astros signing of Brett Myers is hypocritical
considering they DFA'd Julio Lugo a few years back citing a domestic violence charge as the cause. The way their offseason is going (and the way the past few seasons have gone) I certainly do not envy 'stros fans.