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braves-join-chapman-sweepstakes | November | 2009 Articles


Braves Join Chapman Sweepstakes?

on .

EDIT: Mark Bowman of MLB.com brings us an official denial of this news, via e-mail from Frank Wren himself. Not surprising at all.

I have to say I've been waiting for weeks to see this news from some outlet. Melissa Segura at SI.com is reporting that the Braves are "expected to schedule formal conversations in the coming weeks" with free-agent Cuban lefty Aroldis Chapman. I also have to say that while I've expected to see the Braves connected to Chapman, that's only because I expect to see pretty much every team express some form of interest in the intriguing, 102-mph-throwing, 21-year-old southpaw. Frank Wren wouldn't be doing his due diligence if he declined even talk to Chapman and his representatives, and you can bet that Chapman's agent is leaking the name of every team that even so much as watches a YouTube video of Chapman.

No expert really expects Chapman to end up anywhere but Boston or New York, where the big-market Yankees and Red Sox can afford to risk a reported $40-60 million on a 21-year-old who has never thrown a pitch in affiliated baseball. The Braves have an overcrowded rotation to begin with, and Frank Wren would really have to have some impressive moves already lined up--like a Derek Lowe trade and some way to acquire a big hitter on the cheap--if he were to go out and drop nine figures on a guy like Chapman. I'm sure Chapman would have some preference for an organization like the Braves, who have a strong Cuban presence in their clubhouse, and who aren't quite as far from his native Cuba (not that he'll be going back anytime soon). But all indications are that he's really only interested in lots and lots of decimal places after the dollar sign on his contract, which pretty much rules out his signing with the Braves.

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