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Chapman could sign big league deal soon

Chapman could sign big league deal soon

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The Aroldis Chapman sweepstakes could yield a winner soon.

At least that's what The South Florida Sun-Sentinel suggested on Tuesday night, when it reported that the hard-throwing Cuban left-hander told an "associate" he expects to sign within the next three or four days.

A multitude of teams have shown interest in Chapman this offseason, and about 15 clubs reportedly had representatives attend his mid-December throwing session in Houston. But a separate unnamed industry source told the Sun-Sentinel he expects Chapman to eventually sign with either the Angels or Blue Jays for about $21 million.

ESPN Los Angeles reported recently that the Angels "appear to be lining up an offer" for Chapman and may have an "inside edge," considering first baseman and fellow Cuban defector Kendry Morales is close friends with the 21-year-old. Meanwhile, the Blue Jays held a private workout for Chapman in Florida on Thursday, then met with his representatives, Randy and Alan Hendricks, according to ESPN.com.

As for concrete offers, the Red Sox reportedly tendered Chapman an offer worth about $15.5 million in November, while the Marlins made a bid reportedly in the $13 million range.

The Sun-Sentinel cited an American League source following the situation in reporting that the Marlins are "still in the game" and are believed to have increased that initial offer in hopes of landing Chapman. Still, if Florida wins the bidding, it probably won't be because it had the highest offer, but because the Cuban influence in Miami would provide more comfort for Chapman.

The Yankees, Orioles and Athletics have also been interested in Chapman, while the Astros pulled their name out of the hat on Wednesday.

Chapman, 6-foot-4 and armed with a triple-digit fastball, defected from Cuba in July and established residency in the tiny European nation of Andorra, where he was eventually granted free-agent status by Major League Baseball.

His star was born in the 2007 World Cup, when he struck out 20 batters in 15 innings through two dominating outings. But during the 2009 World Baseball Classic, Chapman posted a subpar 5.68 ERA in two starts.

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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