Could the Washington Nationals Have Landed Aroldis Chapman?

Farid RushdiAnalyst IJanuary 10, 2010

SAN DIEGO - MARCH 15: Aroldis Chapman #52 of team Cuba pitches against team Japan during the 2009 World Baseball Classic Round 2 Pool 1 match on March 15, 2009 at Petco Park in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)
Donald Miralle/Getty Images

UPDATE: Passan now thinks Chapman has signed with a National League Central team, but he's not sure at this point. Watch for updates.’s Jeff Passan has announced that Cuban defector Aroldis Chapman has agreed to terms with a National League team and has flown from Miami to sign his contract.


There were only two senior circuit teams known to have any interest in the 22-year-old pitcher who remind many of Randy Johnson at the same age, the Florida Marlins and the Washington Nationals.


If Chapman signed with the Marlins, I doubt he’d need to leave Miami to sign his contract.


The deal is reported to be in excess of $30 million, certainly spread out over multiple years.


It’s a National League team. The Marlins reportedly dropped out days ago.


Said Luke Adams at this morning, “On Friday ,'s Jon Heyman named the Nationals and Marlins as two interested NL teams, but Florida's last bid was around $16MM, so it's unlikely that they nearly doubled their offer to the lefty. Earlier in the week, we heard that the Astros and Mets were out of the running for Chapman. Washington looks like the favorite, but we'll have to wait for more details on this one.”


Ken Rosenthal said on Friday that the Reds had some interest, but I doubt they are serious players.


Remember, Nationals GM Mike Rizzo likes to keep things out of the press until a deal is finalized. He was in Houston watching Chapman pitch a couple of weeks ago, and multiple sources have said that Washington was at the very least interested in the big Cuban defector.


Some scouts are concerned that he lacks command of his "other" pitches, that is, his pitches that don't travel 100+ mph. But he's 22, and Randy Johnson was very raw at that age. Once Johnson matured, he became the dominant pitcher of his era.


Others call Chapman a "once in a generation" pitcher.   Should the Nationals sign him, they would have TWO "once in a generation" pitchers.


I'd like that.


I wouldn’t get too excited, but it certainly seems a possibility at this point.


Stay tuned.