Orioles appear out of Chapman derby
Several major league teams have dropped out of contention to sign Cuban defector Aroldis Chapman, and the Orioles appear to be among them, though there has been no official announcement to that effect.
Orioles beat reporter Jeff Zrebiec tells me that agents Alan and Randy Hendricks have not gotten back to Andy MacPhail since the Orioles apprised them of how the organization valued the hard-throwing left-hander. Club officials view that as a sign that the Hendricks brothers already have offers that far surpass the level of the Orioles interest. Sounds like a pretty good assumption when you're competing with the Red Sox and Angels.
It's possible that could change before Chapman signs, but the fact that he changed to higher-powered agents in the middle of the process means that this is going to come down to how big a contract he can squeeze out of a big-market team. No surprise there, of course, but the Orioles were probably hoping he held them in some extra esteem for coming to Cuba during his youth.
Once again, a situation comes down to a question of value at a time when a lot of fans think the Orioles have saved enough money over the past few years to splurge on somebody who might emerge quickly as a strong member of the pitching staff. I feel your pain, but the track record of some of the other Cuban pitchers who have reached the majors does not necessarily suggest that money should be no object.
Since I have to go on the radio soon -- Sportsline starts at six on WBAL and WBAL.com -- I'll let you take the discussion from here.