Cuban prospect Aroldis Chapman signed with the Cincinnati Reds for six years, $30 million.
According to Bill Ladson, the Washington Nationals were in it until the end with the Cuban hurler and offered him as much as five years for $25 million.
“Asked if money was the reason Chapman didn’t sign with the Nationals, Kasten said, “Well, at the end, it came down to money, but we went pretty hard. We made a very, very attractive offer. It wasn’t quite like what the final offer was apparently, but we were very aggressive … for a kid who has not yet thrown a pitch [in the United States].”
Mark McGwire Admits to Steroids:
Eight years after his retirement, former home run king Mark McGwire officially admitted what we all suspected, he had used steroids. McGwire admitted to using steroids once in the 1980’s and several times in the 1990’s. McGwire said in a statement:
“I never knew when, but I always knew this day would come. It’s time for me to talk about the past and to confirm what people have suspected. I used steroids during my playing career and I apologize. I remember trying steroids very briefly in the 1989/1990 off season and then after I was injured in 1993, I used steroids again. I used them on occasion throughout the ’90s, including during the 1998 season.
“I wish I had never touched steroids. It was foolish and it was a mistake. I truly apologize. Looking back, I wish I had never played during the steroid era. “
Three Big Signings
Relief pitcher Jose Valverde signed with the Detroit Tigers for two-years, $14 million. The contract is reported to have a $9 million option for the third year. Valverde, 31, saved 25 games for the Astros in 2009, and had back-to-back 40 plus save seasons in 2008 and 2007 in Houston and Arizona. Valverde posted a 9.33 K/9 and a 3.50 BB/K ratio in 2009. While this deal has left most scratching their heads, the Tigers felt they had to make a move after losing Fernando Rodney.
Marlins ace Josh Johnson agreed to a four-year extension with the South Florida ball club. The contract is worth a total of $39 million and does not include a no trade clause. This signing came only days after both the MLB and the Players Union expressed concern that the Marlins were purposely not spending money.
First baseman Adam LaRoche signed with the Diamondbacks to a one-year $4.5 million base contract with a $1 million buyout. LaRoche is coming off his best season in three years after hitting .277/.355/.488 with with a 120 wRC+, and a .357 wOBA.