General Red Sox

Next Up?

Not necessarily stopping at John Lackey, the Sox have also offered a large sum of money to a young pitcher, Aroldis Chapman, recently of Cuba.

10 replies on “Next Up?”

15.5 mil, wow. They can have him. I am intrigued by his stuff, but that’s a bit much for someone so raw.. upside is there, but that’s a big chunk of risk.

This is exactly the kind of player you take a risk like that on. How many lefties throw/threw that hard? Randy Johnson and Lefty Grove? Any others?
If he flames out, fine. The Sox are eating more than $15.5 million in 2010 alone thanks to Lugo and Lowell’s contracts. I’d rather if the Sox are going to have sunk costs, it’s on risks like this one, and as Ath implies, it’s highly probable that cost is spread over two or three years or more.

Yeah, it makes zero sense for a raw, unproven player like Chapman to get 15.5m for only one year–no matter how hard he throws. I’d guess it’s spread out over three years.

how can the yanks hope to compete with this kind of money being tossed about?…guess we’ll have to be more creative and explore other, less glamorous, opportunities… ;)
i can’t resist the urge to point out for the kazillionth time that this $15.5m could have been tossed at tex, solving the sox 3b problem, with probably the best corner infielders in the game…they still would have had to pay someone to take lowell, but so what, it’s only money…and, i’m fairly certain that leigh could have found a way to love boston with an extra $15m tucked into her purse…i only point this out, because i like to have fun with the delusional notion that the sox can’t afford to compete with the yanks…
on a more serious note, the sox have a precendent for this type of move, that is, taking an expensive risk on an international player…dice-k…and so far that’s worked out pretty well…this kids probably worth the risk too…

this $15.5m could have been tossed at tex, solving the sox 3b problem
This is a non sequitir. The Sox may very well have internal budgets related to player development and the money isn’t transferable. Or they decided against the extra money for Teixeira in concert with the duration of the contract. Or maybe the figure Chapman is the equivalent of a first round draft pick and they project a signing bonus to be of a certain amount, and then development costs of that player to cost a certain amount, and the offset makes a contract to a guy like Chapman palatable. Perhaps their scouts look at Chapman like a Steven Strasburg, who got a $15.1m contract, but because Chapman is a free agent the calculus on his compensation is different, there is actually competition for him. In any case, the two cases are not the same and hence cannot be judged in terms of each other.
Realize that in the 2009 draft, high first round picks are slotted at over $2M without signing bonuses. If the Sox view Chapman as a high first round pick talent, and their offer is spread over several years of service, that their buy-in isn’t very different than a high first rounder. The issue will be whether they give Chapman a 40-man roster slot (a la Craig Hansen) and what the terms of the contract are after year one, which is clearly going to be higher than a guy without ML service and not arb-eligble. And again, free agency is a very different atmosphere for signing a player than is post-draft: there is NO exclusivity and hence costs are higher. That premium, if Chapman is as talented as some think he is, has to be factored in.
And remember that the Sox have not yet signed him. Chapman could, in fact, garner even more money than the Sox’ initial offer. Which would make the Sox’ offer “below market”, even at $15m. This isn’t such a simple issue.

In fact, Chapman has been compared to Strasburg, and some early reports following his defection pegged his compensation at higher than Jose Contreras’ when he was signed by the Yanks.
From SI:
Chapman’s career record is 24-21 and he twice led the Serie Nacional, Cuba’s professional league, in strikeouts. Despite the mediocre record, the money Chapman will command is expected to exceed the $32 million signing bonus the New York Yankees paid Cuban right-hander Jose Contreras, who was 31 when he joined the Yankees in 2002. Andorra’s lack of income tax means Chapman will save money in his new homeland, Mejia says.
Sounds like the Sox lowballed him, actually!

gee, i was just having some fun with it sf…in fact, i even said that explicitly, and i used a smiley…right now $15m is the top offer, and it is big money no matter how you amortize it, and it made me smile to see that the team who uses money as a convenient crutch suddenly became, for the moment anyway, the high bidder…as you say, that could all change when other teams check in…do i hear yankees at $25m? ;)
this is the part i don’t buy however:
“…The Sox may very well have internal budgets related to player development and the money isn’t transferable.”…
i did a little budgeting for a few years for a major corporation…while i agree that there is a great deal of rigidity in the process, there is also some flexibility built in to react to changing business conditions and unexpected opportunities…it’s fair to assume that the sox have this flexibility, even if it were to require john henry’s ok…

Personally, I’m hoping Theo throws an entire theatre’s worth of chairs this winter when the Yankees sign Chapman. I agree with Paul that this is the type of player with which you just forget about the money, because the reward is so much higher than the risk. Color me jealous if the Sox get him, too.

“…Personally, I’m hoping Theo throws an entire theatre’s worth of chairs this winter when the Yankees sign Chapman….”
the cherry on the sundae will be if he’s wearing the monkey suit when he does his melt down andrew…

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