Last week, we discussed the fact that the Mets had met with Japanese LHP Yusei Kikuchi and Cuban LHP Aroldis Chapman. Both young pitchers were coveted for their ability to throw in the mid-upper 90s. Now, it appears that neither will be a Met in the foreseeable future.
As quoted by NPBtracker, Kikuchi will begin his professional career in Japan, although he made clear that he hopes to compete in MLB someday, “I want to be given the chance to play in Japan…for now I’m closing the door to the Majors, and after becoming a top pitcher in Japan I want to take on the world.”
Meanwhile, two Mets beat writers believe that the price for Chapman will be too rich for the Mets. On Friday, David Lennon of Newsday tweeted,
If the price for Aroldis Chapman gets to $40-$60 M, as some have speculated, forget the #Mets. They have no desire to get into that range.
The New York Post’s Bart Hubbach, who has been very skeptical of the Mets ability to spend heavily this winter, tweeted on Sunday,
The Mets won’t be pursuing Cuban defector Aroldis Chapman after being told he wants up to $60 million to sign.
Meanwhile, according to Jon Heyman, the Yankees, in an effort to impress Chapman, invited him to the Stadium for Sunday night’s ALCS game 6 with the Angels. Heyman does not indicate that the Mets are out of the bidding for Chapman despite describing the Yankees and Red Sox as “gearing up for a battle.” Heyman points out that the Mets bid $39 million on Daisuke Matsuzaka’s posting fee, although the Sox beat them out with their $51 million bid.
Will Chapman really command $60 million? That’s a lot of pretty pennies, especially given Cuban pitchers’ failure to live up to their hype. Alay Soler anyone?