Here is scouting director Chris Buckley's take on Chapman
Basically, he thinks he's a very rare talent. 9 different scouts watched him throw, and apparently they all agree that Crest is the best toothpaste for fighting gingivitis. And they like Chappy too.
The Fay says the Chapman signing likely means Aaron Harang and Bronson Arroyo will not be here in 2011
Whether they are traded mid-season or their options are declined, he says "the (Chapman) move seems to be a sign that the Reds are finally going all-in with the young movement after the Scott Rolen detour."
Matthew Cerrone guesses the Reds may be more willing to move Harang or Arroyo
now that Chappy is aboard.
"This is a guess, but an educated guess nevertheless: It sounds to me like any talks between the Mets and Reds this off season probably involved people like Arroyo or Harang and Phillips; Castillo; a Mike Pelfrey or John Maine; maybe Angel Pagan, since the Reds are looking for a lead-off hitter; and a close-to-ready position prospect, someone like Fernando Martinez."
It sounds pretty unlikely to me as I think though the Reds may want to move Harang or Arroyo, they aren't in a desperate position to do so, as Fay says. They should be perfectly willing to go into April with the guys they have and reevaluate should the team fall out of the race before the deadline.
The Fay applauds the Reds accountants for finding space in the payroll for Chapman
As we all know, the Reds were working with a very tight budget for this season, so how did they sign a free agent for $30 mil? Chapman's salary for 2010 will be around $1 mil, and his signing bonus, around $6-7 mil, is being paid out of the amateur scouting budget. So does this mean the Reds will have less money to spend on the draft? "Not really," Jocketty said. "We draft lower. We’re 12th instead of eighth. We don’t have a sandwich pick (between the first and second round). There’s still plaenty of money for the draft." This, and the Rolen contract rejiggering, make me very proud of our boy Walter. If no other moves are made this offseason, I will consider it quite a success.
Speaking of the contract, Shawn has some details of the contract for us
He says "Chapman gets $25.25 million for the next five years, of which $16.25 million is a signing bonus spread over ten years. There is also a player option for $5 million in year six, which is how this is getting reported as a $30 million contract. What is not sure yet is how that payout works: is it $1.625 million each of the next 10 years, or a big part of it now with more payments to come? It is believed that his 2010 salary alone will be $1 million. We may presume this escalates over the five years, totalling $9 million over that time."
Big League Stew wonders if the Reds should be placing the fate of their new prized prospect in the hands of Dusty Baker
He says much of Baker's reputation for abusing pitchers is unwarranted, but it should at least give the Reds pause. Personally, I think if the Reds want to go with a full-on youth movement as The Fay says, then trimming Baker and his "Big Name Manager" paycheck from the payroll should be a top priority. And for the record, I think he's done a fine job with the pitching staff.
Craig Calcaterra wonders if the Reds may move Chapman along faster than we first assumed
"(J)ust as gambling on expensive young talent with an upside represents a competitive advantage for sub-.500 teams with low payrolls, maybe rushing that talent and squeezing as much juice out of them before they sign with the Yankees is a competitive advantage as well."
Pitching coach Bryan Price says his ability to speak Spanish is important
"The ability to communicate is important," Price said. "That goes two ways. Not only do we want Aroldis to have the ability to understand what we’re saying. We want to know what he’s thinking. He’s not coming from a different organization. He’s coming from a different country, different way of life. Having people you’re comfortable with is important."
Jon Heyman thinks Chapman is a "big gamble" for the Reds
He says small market teams (Reds, A's, Marlins, Nationals) saw Chapman as their chance to land a big free agent, while large-market teams (Red Sox, Yankees, Mets) saw him as too risky and preferred to spend (much, much more) money on guys like John Lackey and Jason Bay. Here's an honest question: would you rather have Chapman in his early-mid twenties for $30 mil or Lackey or Bay in their early-mid 30s for 2-3 times more money?
Paul Daugherty says Chapman is a risky move
"The Reds made news, all right: Small market team empties wallet on lottery tickets."
He lists Chapman's ups and downs, but he lists more downs than ups. He says we just don't know anything about him. The Reds saw Stephen Strasburg pitch 20 times before last June's draft, but they have seen Chapman throw live no more than 6 times.
I think Doc's concerns are perfectly reasonable. It's true that he isn't CC Sabathia. He doesn't have a long history of success at the Major League (or even Minor League) level. That's the nature of prospects. But the part that really has me excited is that this contract will NOT hamstring the organization. It's a total of $30 mil, but it's being paid out over 10 years. This isn't a leviathan $12 mil a year contract for a closer we are talking about here. Yes, it's a gamble, but it's not "betting the house on a pair of 8s" as Doc says. Chapman may be just a pair of 8s (or he could end up being a "Rules of Poker according to Hoyle" card), but the Reds still have plenty of chips. That's why I love this deal.