11/21/09 1:24 PM EST
Cuban star Chapman switches agents
Coveted southpaw hires Hendricks Sports Management
By Ed Eagle / MLB.com
According to multiple reports, the hard-throwing southpaw has dropped Athletes Premier International in favor of Hendricks Sports Management.
Chapman pitched for Cuba during the 2009 World Baseball Classic before defecting in July during a tournament in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Under the guidance of API agent Edwin Mejia, Chapman soon thereafter established residency in Andorra in the Pyrenees so that he could become a free agent and not be subject to the First-Year Player Draft.
Mejia had recently been involved in negotiations with several teams on Chapman's behalf and took the 21-year-old on a round of interviews with major media outlets.
"Athletes Premier International is greatly surprised and deeply disappointed that Aroldis Chapman has decided to change agents," API said in a statement, according to ESPN.com. "The agency has put forth a lot of time and effort towards helping him achieve his goal of becoming a Major League pitcher and he gave us no indication that he was unhappy with our advice or the way he was treated. We will have more to say about this matter at a later date, but in the meantime we wish Aroldis luck in his future endeavors."
Hendricks Sports Management, which is run by brothers Randy and Alan Hendricks, also represents Angels first baseman and fellow Cuban defector Kendry Morales, among others.
The Yankees and Red Sox are believed to be the most likely suitors for the 21-year-old Chapman, whose fastball has reportedly been clocked at more than 100 mph. Chapman is expected to receive an eight-figure contract for his services.
Ed Eagle is a reporter and producer for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.