Aroldis Chapman signed with the Cincinnati Reds this past weekend. Not the Red Sox or the Yankees. Not either of the Los Angeles team’s. Not even the Florida Marlins where there is a high Cuban population. Nope, he signed with the Cincinnati Reds…the freakin’ Reds! If the 22 year old (so he says at least) left handed pitcher that throws the ball around 100 mph signed a five year contract with the Reds, there is no reason to assume that if the Orioles wanted him, they could have had him. However once again the Orioles seem to disappear at the negotiation table faster than Lane Kiffin can change coaching jobs.
Why didn’ the Orioles and Andy MacPhail make a stronger pitch for Chapman? Does the Orioles brass really think that adding Kevin Millwood, Garrett Atkins, and Mike Gonzalez make this year’s team drastically better than what they’ve been losing with in the past? Are we positive that Brad Bergesen, Brian Matusz, Chris Tillman, and the rest of the Orioles prospects are really that good that the team couldn’t use another young left handed starting pitching prospect that throws around 100 mph to give them even more depth?
If Chapman was willing to sign with the Cincinnati Reds I see no reason why he wouldn’t come to Baltimore if the Orioles went after him harder. Obviously it shows that once again the Orioles went to the lot, kicked the tires, and left empty handed…once again. In fact I was surprised at how little it took to sign Chapman to the Reds ($30.25 million for 5 years, with an option for the 6th and it’s a very back loaded contract that doesn’t get sizeable until 2014). I would have snatched him up at that cost, especially since the team still looks to be interested in Erik Bedard and Ben Sheets, two solid starters with a history of injury that would cost the team at least $6-8 million this season. The Orioles once again missed on a great opportunity to truly build something for the future by failing to sign Chapman
If the Orioles would have stepped up and signed Chapman they would have given their fans something to really believe in and showed that they are serious about making this organization better. Can you imagine a rotation in a year or two from now that would have Brian Matusz, Chris Tillman, Aroldis Chapman, and Brad Bergesen starting 80% of their games? You’d be seeing one of the best young stables of starting pitchers that baseball has seen in nearly 20 years. But instead of looking to give the organization a great advantage to build their team around, the Orioles once again failed to come through in the clutch. Failing to sign Chapman puts that much more pressure on every other prospect to live up to their potential, especially with many of their young arms expected to be a part of the team this season.
The Orioles missed big by not signing Aroldis Chapman. They missed on adding a young left hander that throws very hard, they missed on adding depth to their pitching rotation, and they missed on giving the fans hope that the team is trying as hard as it can to be a winner. Who knows if Chapman will become a great pitcher, but I do know that the Orioles had a chance to improve their organization and they missed, but this one can’t be blamed on being out bidded by the Yankees or the Red Sox, this one falls clealry on the Orioles lack of wanting to be a winner and taking a chance to get there. The Orioles struck out again with this one.