The Twins will be among a handful of teams represented when Cuban phenom Aroldis Chapman throws for scouts on Tuesday in Houston.
According to a report by the Minneapolis Star Tribune, two Twins scouts will be on hand to check out the hard-throwing left-handed pitcher who defected when the Cuban
national team was in the Netherlands in July.
ESPN.com has reported that Chapman, 21, has already been offered a $15.5 million deal by the Red Sox. Although that offer reportedly came when Chapman was still represented by agent Edwin Mejia. He has since switched to the Hendricks Brothers, who are based in Houston.
Scouts have already had a chance to watch Chapman up close when he pitched for Cuba during the World Baseball Classic last spring. His fastball was clocked at 102 mph during that tournament and it’s no surprise that he has drawn the interest of teams like the Red Sox, Yankees, Angels — all of which are expected to be on hand for Tuesday’s workout. The Astros have also confirmed that they will have people in attendance to watch Chapman.
“This is one of any number of these workouts we attend each year,”
Twins General Manager Bill Smith told the Star Tribune. “It’s as much information
gathering as anything else. We’ve seen this guy a number of times.
We’ve seen him in the WBC and in a number of tournaments.”
While it seems unlikely that the Twins would be able to compete financially with the types of offers that Chapman is expected to receive, the club has been making an effort to be more aggressive on the International market. That included signing Dominican shortstop Miguel Sano (Jean) to a $3.15 million bonus and also landing German outfielder Max Kepler, who was considered to be the premier European prospect this year.