Tag: noel arguelles

Mets Do Not Sign Aroldis Chapman

Highly touted lefthanded flamethrower Aroldis Chapman has signed with the Cincinnati Reds for $30M over 5 years.

The 21-year-old Cuban defector had been likened to #1 overall draft pick Stephen Strasburg in terms of age, skill set, and peak potential, and wound up receiving double the money Strasburg received. Strasburg, of course, did not have the benefit of negotiating a deal from all 30 teams.

The Mets were never much of a factor in the Chapman bidding. Like fellow countryman Noel Arguelles, I’m not sure the pressure-cooker environment of New York City would be the best place for a very young defector to begin his pitching career and life in the United States.

Does that mean the Mets can never sign a talented young ballplayer? Of course not, but right now, an athlete with Chapman’s skills would immediately be tabbed as some kind of a savior to a struggling, high profile franchise such as the Mets. There are few young men who can handle that kind of pressure from the fans and media while also adjusting to life in the USA. Look no further than the expectations hoisted upon the shoulders of 20-year-old Fernando Martinez to get an idea of what someone like Chapman or Arguelles would have to endure. Then, remember that F-Mart has been in the organization for a few years, and had the opportunity to adjust to pro ball and the US while the Mets were doing well — i.e., no one was in a rush to get Martinez to the bigs as long as the team was winning with Beltran, Delgado, Wright, Reyes, etc. in place. Today, though, the Mets are coming off their worst record in a half-decade, have little in the way of prospects, and are desperate for quality pitching. There would be pressure not only a young stud like Chapman or Arguelles to do well, but there would also be pressure on the Mets front office — specifically Omar Minaya — to rush him up to the big leagues (see: Pelfrey, Mike).

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Royals Sign Arguelles

MLB.com is reporting that the Royals have signed 19-year-old righthanded pitcher Noel Arguelles to a five-year, $7M Major League contract.

Despite his young age, the Cuban defector has extensive international experience and is highly touted as.

According to Royals GM Dayton Moore:

“He’s 6-4, 225 and very athletic, very competitive,” Moore said. “He’s got an above-average fastball and changeup, a curveball and slider. He’s certainly a top pick if he was in the Draft this year.”

“We feel he’ll be a top-of-the-rotation pitcher at some point in his career,” Moore said.

It didn’t appear that the Mets were ever a major player in signing Arguelles, which is too bad considering the final price tag. The dollars seem relatively cheap for a young pitcher with his skill set, and the only downside is that KC will have to carry him on their 40-man roster regardless of whether he’s ready for the bigs (considering the Mets have wasted 40-man spots on people like Robinson Cancel in the past, that wouldn’t have been a major issue). Though, New York may not have been the best place for Arguelles to develop. The spotlight would be over him from his first pitch in A ball, and the pressure to promote him would have been incessant — similar to when Mike Pelfrey was drafted. With Kansas City Arguelles will have the time to develop at his pace, in a relaxed atmosphere.

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