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Jays Bird-Dogging Chapman

New Year’s Eve has come and gone and left-handed flame thrower

Aroldis Chapman pitching in Cuba

Aroldis Chapman pitching in Cuba

Aroldis Chapman is still available and will apparently pay the American (or Canadian) taxman when he signs a lucrative bonus in 2010.

According to a report from ESPN.com, the Toronto Blue Jays held a private workout for Chapman on New Year’s Eve in Florida. After the session, Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos met with Chapman’s agents Randy and Alan Hendricks to discuss what it would take to get the Cuban flame-thrower to sign with Toronto.

Under Anthopoulos, the Blue Jays plan to increase the effort and money it has invested in the past in scouting and player development. Its the best way to compete in the same division with the big money Red Sox and Yankees. The Jays also have a huge hole to fill with the departure of Cy Young Award winner Roy Halladay to the Phillies.

It is believed that the Yankees and Red Sox are also serious suitors for the 21-year-old Cuban defector. The Red Sox reportedly offered Chapman a $15.5 million deal in November, but Chapman’s then agent Edwin Mejia rejected the deal. The Red Sox deal trumped the $13 million that the Marlins were willing to pay. Chapman is reportedly looking for a contract worth in excess of $20 million.

According to ESPN Los Angeles, the Angels are also courting Chapman. Chapman is friends with Angels first baseman Kendry Morales, also a Cuban defector, and they have spent time together working out in Miami.

“Kendry gives him some idea of the pitfalls of the adjustments,” said Angels scouting director Eddie Bane. “It’s a fit, but who knows? It depends on the price.”

As reported in our previous post about Chapman, he is not expected to make much of an impact, if any, for whomever he signs with for the 2010 season, but is a true top-notch prospect for the future. If you have room on your fantasy baseball minor league roster, he may be worth a pickup if you are patient and willing to forego any value for the 2010 fantasy baseball season.

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