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 Tigers confirm interest in Cuban defector Chapman

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PostSubject: Tigers confirm interest in Cuban defector Chapman   Mon Oct 26, 2009 11:13 pm

Tigers confirm interest in Cuban defector Chapman
Jason Beck / MLB.com
Posted on October 26, 2009 at 9:46 PM

Add the Tigers to the meeting list for Cuban pitcher Aroldis Chapman as he talks with Major League teams.

Tom Moore, the team's director of international scouting, confirmed a published report that the team has shown interest in meeting with the highly-regarded left-hander and his representatives in the next couple weeks.

The interest was first reported by SI.com. The report lists the Tigers among nine teams to have shown some level of interest in Chapman, joining the Yankees, Red Sox, Orioles, White Sox, Cubs, Mets, A's and Cardinals.

That doesn't mean the Tigers are going to get into a bidding war. At this point, the Tigers don't go in with financial expectations. But with Chapman and his representatives meeting with clubs and allowing teams to get to know the highly-touted hurler, the Tigers will take the opportunity and talk.

"We're basically just at the interest level," Moore cautioned. "Because of the nature, I think it's a situation where they're going to take the time to allow clubs to spend some time with the player and see who he is."


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PostSubject: Re: Tigers confirm interest in Cuban defector Chapman   Tue Oct 27, 2009 6:10 pm



Tigers confirm interest in Chapman
Cuban defector is said to throw as hard as 102 mph

By Jason Beck / MLB.com

10/26/09 11:07 PM ET

DETROIT -- Add the Tigers to the meeting list for Cuban pitcher Aroldis Chapman as he talks with Major League teams.

Tom Moore, the team's director of international operations, confirmed a published report that the team has shown interest in meeting with the highly regarded left-hander and his representatives in the next couple weeks.

"It's something we're pursuing," Moore said Monday night. "He's of interest [to teams] with the arm."

The interest was first reported Monday evening by SI.com. The report lists the Tigers among nine teams to have shown some level of interest in Chapman, joining the Yankees, Red Sox, Orioles, White Sox, Cubs, Mets, A's and Cardinals.

That doesn't mean the Tigers are going to get into a bidding war. At this point, the Tigers don't go in with financial expectations. But with Chapman and his representatives meeting with clubs and allowing teams to get to know the highly touted hurler, the Tigers will take the opportunity to talk.

"We're basically just at the interest level," Moore said. "Because of the nature, I think it's a situation where they're going to take the time to allow clubs to spend some time with the player and see who he is."

How competitive the Tigers' interest would be in Chapman isn't yet clear. The 21-year-old southpaw, who defected from his native Cuba during an international tournament in July and established residency in the small European country of Andorra, is expected to draw intense bidding among some of the interested teams. Multiple reports have suggested he could ask for as much as $40-$60 million to sign, with the Yankees and Red Sox expected to be the most likely to offer anything resembling that kind of money.

Chapman has drawn those expectations thanks in large part to a fastball that has reportedly been clocked as high as 102 mph, though he supposedly throws more consistently in the 90s.

Given the Tigers' payroll and financial considerations, including a difficult economy in Michigan and looming negotiations on a long-term contract for Justin Verlander, Detroit's interest would seemingly have a limit.

The Tigers have generally avoided high-priced sweepstakes for international signings in recent years, preferring to use their resources to scout and sign more players to low- and middle-range deals and try to develop them from there. The one area where they've shown the most willingness to spend is in the First-Year Player Draft, where they've signed top high school pitchers Rick Porcello and Jacob Turner to lucrative contracts over the last three years.

The Tigers have had no history in recent years signing Cuban players. The last Cuban player they've had on their Major League roster, outfielder Alex Sanchez, was a trade acquisition from Milwaukee in 2003 after he had already established himself in the big leagues.

That doesn't mean the Tigers have avoided scouting or talking with Cuban players -- in fact, they have scouted Cuban players in international tournaments -- or for highly touted international players in general, but they haven't made a signing. Part of the process for international signings, Moore said, is determining the value and determining whether a signing for a certain price meets that value, much like any player.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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