According to Jorge Arangure of ESPN, Cuban defector and left handed pitcher Aroldis Chapman has been declared a free agent by major league baseball and is now free to sign with any team in the bigs.
Both the Yankees, Red Sox and others are expected to be interested in the fire balling 21-year-old. That seems to be just speculation so far, but it is not hard to see why. The Yankees should certainly be interested with so many questions about their pitching staff next year. Is Andy Pettitte coming back? Can AJ Burnett survive October in the Bronx? Will Joba Chamberlain rebound after a rough season? Speaking of Joba, is Phil Hughes‘ 2010 going to be just like Joba’s 2009?
All of those questions, combined with a weak free agent class for starting pitching, could force the Yankees to become serious bidders for Chapman. Expect the bidding to start at three years and $30 million, but it will probably end up closer to $50 million.