Cuban defector Chapman heads to NY to meet with teams

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Picking a slightly more central location than tiny Andorra, Aroldis Chapman, who was declared a free agent last month, is headed to New York to begin meeting with suitors.
Chapman’s agent told ESPN’s Jorge Arangure Jr. that the 21-year-old left-hander will arrive on Wednesday and is set to visit several cities. Boston is very likely to be included, and a trip to the West Coast to gauge the interest of the Dodgers and Angels figures to follow.
The hard-throwing Chapman is expected to get one of the winter’s largest contracts, even though he’s probably not ready to succeed as a major league starter just yet. He placed eighth on our list of the winter’s top 111 free agents. A deal in the $50 million range is a good guess, and the Yankees would seem to have the best chance of anyone of landing him.

Marcus Stroman dealing with blister again

Marcus Stroman
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Blue Jays right-hander Marcus Stroman might be headed to the disabled list soon, manager John Gibbons told reporters following Friday’s rain-shortened loss to the Yankees. The righty lasted just four innings on the mound before calling it a night, and gave up five runs, six hits and two walks in a performance that Gibbons claimed was at least partially affected by recurring blister issues on his right middle finger. Now, it looks like he might be removed from the rotation for some much-needed rest and rehabilitation; if so, it’ll be his second such stint this year.

Stroman, 27, has struggled to return the kind of winning record and sub-4.00 ERA that characterized his previous seasons with the club, mostly due to the combined seven weeks he missed with blisters on his throwing hand and chronic fatigue in his right shoulder. In a recent start against the Rays, things got even more gruesome when his blister appeared to start bleeding in the middle of his outing and MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm notes that the wound has constantly interfered with the right-hander’s pitch selection and delivery. When healthy, Stroman has managed a 4-8 record through 18 starts in 2018 with a career-worst 5.27 ERA, 3.2 BB/9 and 6.8 SO/9 in 100 2/3 innings. This will be the first year since 2015 in which he has not logged at least 200 innings in a single season.

While Stroman may not need an extended stay on the DL before he returns to the mound, it’s not clear what kind of timetable the Blue Jays expect for his recovery. He’s been the second-most valuable starter (behind the now-traded J.A. Happ) in a rotation that currently ranks 17th in the majors with a combined 4.90 ERA and 6.8 fWAR.