While the Yankees are off trying to win a World Series, the Red Sox are trying to get a leg up on the competition in the free-agent market.
That’s why Cuban defector Aroldis Chapman — maybe the best pitcher in the world who is not on a major league roster — is allegedly in Beantown.
WEEI.com reports that Chapman met with the Red Sox. Earlier in the week, rumors indicated that Chapman could throw a bullpen session at Fenway Park on Wednesday, but heavy rains most likely cancelled those plans.
The 21-year-old is being courted by big-budget teams like the Red Sox, Yankees and Mets, plus the Cardinals and Mariners. His explosive fastball, which has been clocked as high as 102 mph, is bound to land him a big paycheck this winter and renders him perhaps the biggest prize of this offseason.
Teams are willing to take a gamble on the young flamethrower despite knowing nearly nothing about his personal history and having no proof of his age or identity. If his negotiations proceed like those of Daisuke Matsuzaka a few years ago, there may not be many teams able to afford him when all is said and done.
Chapman defected from Cuba during a tournament in the Netherlands in July.