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The Best Left Handed Pitching Prospect in the World Now a Free Agent?

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UPDATE: According to ESPN.com Buster Olney, expect the Yankees and Red Sox to be heavily involved in trying to obtain Aroldis Chapman.  Olney expects the contract to be in the same arena as Stephen Strasburg

 

According to Jorge Arangure of ESPN Magaizne, Aroldis Chapman, a Cuban considered by many scouts to be the best left-handed pitching prospect in the world, has defected from the national team.

Chapman apparently walked out of his hotel room in the Netheralands, while the team was participating in an international tournament.

"I walked out easily, right through the hotel door, and I hopped into a car and left, it was easy."

According to cubaencuentro.com, Chapman is currently staying somewhere in Europe, but can't reveal his location for safety reasons.

Chapman is considered to be the best prospect to defect Cuba since Jose Contreras, and is expected to command a contract anywhere from $30-$60 million.

Here is what Jaime Torres, the agent for Jose Contreras said about Chapman.

"Without a doubt he is the best player to defect since Contreras."

Chapman has been known to top off his fastball at 100 mph, but many scouts consider him a relatively raw prospect. He struggles with any secondary pitches, which in all likely-hood would force him to begin his pro career in the minor leagues.

He has however pitched on the big stage before. Chapman pitched for Cuba in the 2009 World Baseball Classic, going 0-1 with a 5.68 ERA despite 8 K's in 6 1/3 IP.

It is believed that Chapman will catch a plane to Miami on Thursday, and begin the process of becoming a free agent.

Stay tuned for more information on this story.