John Stockstill, the Orioles’ director of international scouting, is flying back to Baltimore tonight after watching Aroldis Chapman’s bullpen session earlier today in Houston and also meeting with the Cuban left-hander’s representatives.
Stockstill estimated that Chapman threw 75 pitches, with representatives for 20-25 clubs in attendance.
“It was not really set up for evaluations,” Stockstill said. “They wanted to let everybody see that he’s healthy. He threw a light bullpen. Now they’re setting things up so every club has an opportunity to meet with him starting today and going for the next two or three days.”
Chapman has changed agents since defecting, and since initial reports estimated that he could command at least $40 million. The Orioles met with representatives Randy and Alan Hendricks last week in Indianapolis, but Stockstill said today’s sit down provided a chance to “just re-familiarize from the last time” the Orioles spoke to Chapman.
“The agents are doing a good job of letting everybody have a chance to visit with him and to get to know him,” Stockstill said. “The next step will be just to follow him. They’ll probably finalize meetings over the next 48 hours. I think some clubs will visit with him tomorrow and then possibly on Thursday. I would assume they’ll assess everything and have discussions with teams after Thursday.
“They’re letting every club do whatever work they need to do to get to know their client. It’s a good process. It’ll probably just take some time.”
Stockstill said Chapman remains “sincerely interested” in the Orioles. However, it doesn’t appear that they’re on the verge of offering him a contract.
So far, I’ve read only one report of an offer being made - $15.5 million by the Red Sox. But that was a while ago, before Chapman switched agents.
The Red Sox and Yankees sent area scouts to Houston today, according to ESPN.com. The Nationals also were represented.