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International free agent update

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The latest on Cuban lefty Aroldis Chapman -

Very soon, Chapman will establish residency outside of the United States, which will then expedite the process for his application to Major League Baseball for free agency...

At this point, the baseball world mostly considers Chapman a thrower rather than a pitcher. During the workout, his fastballs land in the middle of the strike zone, but when he begins to unleash his breaking stuff, several coaches move away from the backstop to avoid getting hit by balls bouncing off the catcher. The curveballs that do hit their target, however, drop several inches. Like many Cuban pitchers, Chapman has a vast repertoire: two-seam fastball, cut fastball, curve, slider, splitter and two or three kinds of changeups. But unlike many Cuban pitchers who throw a lot of junk (see: Liván and Orlando Hernández), the flamethrowing Chapman needs to master only one or two off-speed pitches to be effective in the majors. Right now scouts rate his secondary pitches as merely average, which is understandable considering he began to throw them less than five years ago.

By October, [Kikuchi] must choose Japan or the U.S. for a career he's dreamed about since primary school. Signing at home would rule Kikuchi out of a U.S. move for as many as nine years, while choosing Major League Baseball may open the door to a stream of amateurs spurning Japan for a chance to play alongside countrymen like Ichiro and Daisuke Matsuzaka.

"Kikuchi would open things up completely," Danny MacLeith, a scout for the Chicago Cubs, said in an Aug. 17 interview behind home plate at Koshien, in Nishinomiya city west of Osaka. "If he's available and wants to go, he needs to say so because the Japanese draft is two months away. It's time."

Since the Red Sox broke the unwritten rule that ML teams wouldn't sign Japanese amateurs (with Junichi Tazawa), why not go for this guy? (via BBTF)

  • Miguel Angel Sano still hasn't signed with anyone -

Major League Baseball launched an investigation into the age and identity of Sano in June. The investigation has confirmed his identity, but the study of his age remains inconclusive, which has delayed his signing.

He's asking for $5.5 to $7 million, which is just ridiculous. I don't see him getting more than about $4 million.