Earlier this week, I posted the following comment regarding Aroldis Chapman:
I don’t think that he is worth 15 million let alone 50 million.
What do we know about him?
1. He pitched in Cuba for a few years. Our best guess on the level of competition between Cuba and low-level international competition is A+/AA.
2. He has erratic, but great, velocity on his fastball. Sometimes he’ll throw 90, sometimes he’ll throw 100.
3. He has terrible control.
That doesn’t sound like Matsuzaka to me, who was one of Japan’s (higher level of competition, most good Japanese players went straight to the majors. Most Cuban players had a tougher transition) best pitchers, and in his prime.
Chapman should be treated like a high first round high school pick, but a little older. Let the Red Sox spend their money – I’d rather they spend it on a wild lefty with no track record than John Lackey.
After some reflection, I believe that I was wrong.
I still believe that Aroldis Chapman should be considered a prospect. He is young, inexperienced, and raw. He also has tremendous stuff and potential. Fans looking to place him directly into the MLB would be disappointed.
But that said, he is still worth 15-20 million on the open market. Think about it this way: were Chapman eligible for the draft, where would he be drafted? Based on his stuff, there is no way he would not be a top-5 pick, even without any college experience. These players often command 5 million dollars or more for their signing bonuses when teams have exclusive negotiating rights and benefits of the slotting system. Its hard to see them commanding less than 10 million on the open market.
Stephen Strausberg is a better prospect than Chapman, but imagine what we would have gotten had all 30 teams been allowed to bid on his services? I’d say he could have commanded 30 million. 15-20 million is a relatively small bet to make for potential production that could be worth 100 million dollars or more.
So yeah, I think he’s worth it. Go get him Cash.
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