A league source tells SI.com that a settlement has been reached between Hendricks Sports Management and Athletes Premier International (API) in regards to Cuban left-hander Aroldis Chapman.
Edwin Mejia, the president of API, filed a suit against Hendricks Sports Management in Massachusetts Superior Court last December after Chapman jumped ship, claiming that the Hendricks’ brothers provided Chapman “with numerous improper enticements to induce and terminate his contract and relationship with Athletes Premier and Mejia.”
Chapman inked a five-year, $30 million contract with the Reds in January after joining with more-established Hendricks’ brothers. We can only speculate that Mejia requested millions in damages.
While the battle with Mejia and API appears to be over, Rodney Fernandez, a former employee of Hendricks Sports Management, is still under investigation to determine whether he played a part in more than $300,000 missing from the bank account of Angels first baseman Kendry Morales. Fernandez, who played a significant part in bringing Morales and Chapman to Hendricks Sports Management, told Jorge Arangure Jr. of ESPN.com that whatever money he took from Morales’ account was done with the approval of co-founders Alan and Randy Hendricks. Morales left Hendricks Sports Management for Scott Boras last month upon learning about the missing cash.
Free agent left-hander Rich Hill is rumored to be entertaining a three-year, $40+ million offer from the Dodgers, reports Peter Gammons. The Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo corroborated the report, adding that Hill could receive somewhere between $46 and $48 million from his former team.
Hill, 36, pitched to a 2.12 ERA and 3.91 FIP in back-to-back stints with the Athletics and Dodgers in 2016. While a chronic case of blisters on his pitching hand limited the frequency of his starts, he still figures to be one of the most productive and noteworthy starting pitchers on the market this winter.
The Orioles, Yankees, Red Sox, Rangers and Astros have all been mentioned as potential suitors for the left-hander’s services, though Orioles’ GM Dan Duquette said the club has yet to make a play for Hill and ESPN’s Jim Bowden pointed out that the Red Sox are less involved in trade talks than other interested parties.
In light of the Astros’ deal for veteran designated hitter Carlos Beltran on Saturday, the Yankees are thought to be intensifying their pursuit of free agent Edwin Encarnacion, reports Jon Morosi of FOX Sports. The Yankees never made an official offer to Beltran, but remain in need of a DH/first baseman to give them a little more power outside of a Tyler Austin–Greg Bird combo in 2017.
The Red Sox, on the other hand, are reportedly withdrawing their interest when it comes to the Encarnacion sweepstakes. According to FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman, they will look for a hitter to beef up their lineup without taking a “big plunge” on the 34-year-old.
Encarnacion enjoyed another All-Star run with the Blue Jays in 2016, hitting at a .263/.357/.529 clip with 42 homers and a league-leading 127 RBI in 702 PA. He’s expected to command a significant contract in free agency, and agent Paul Kinzer said that a potential deal is unlikely to be finalized before the Winter Meetings as Encarnacion is not close to agreeing to any offer. Interested teams include the Blue Jays and the Astros, though Beltran’s signing appears to have effectively taken Houston out of the running for the slugger.