Chapman establishes residency in Andorra
Quick, find Andorra on a map. Not so easy, is it? It’s safe to say Aroldis Chapman didn’t know it where it was either before he decided to defect from Cuba. However, the 21-year-old fireballerhas now established residency in the country, clearing a major hurdle to become a major league free agent.
Chapmanwalked out of his hotel in Rotterdam, the Netherlandswhile Cuba was participating in a baseball tournament in July. His location was not immediately known, but it appears that he was savvy enough to take advantage of a major-league loophole which allows players from third-party countries -- no longer a product of the U.S. embargo with Cuba -- to enter the free-agent pool as opposed to the draft. Because Chapman had a passport, he was able to get the wheels in motion rather quickly. Another bonus, Andorra has no income tax, so he’ll save a pretty penny in the end.According to SI.com, Chapman may be available for free agency before the playoffs begin. While there’s a wide range of opinion about his skills, one scouting director told SI.com that he projects more as a middle reliever than a front-end major league starter. Either way, don’t expect the Yankees or Red Sox to shy away from his 101 MPH fastball.