A clip from an interview on this past weekend's edition of MLB Live Weekend on Sirius/XM Radio which was included throughout the day today on XM MLB's Home Plate Updates, features Washington Nationals' Bench Coach John McLaren providing a scouting report on the Cincinnati Reds' newest left-handed starter Aroldis Chapman, (who McLaren saw pitch in the WBC), which offers a window into what DC GM Mike Rizzo was thinking when he and the Nationals reportedly offered the 21/22-year-old Cuban-born left-hander a 5-year, $25 million dollar offer to join '09 No. 1 overall pick Stephen Strasburg atop the rotation in the nation's capital:
"John McLaren: He's got an unbelievable body, he's got an unbelievable arm, his breaking ball at times is just well above average. When I saw him, you know, my mindset was, you know, this guy probably needs to be in Double-A, you know, just refining his delivery a little bit like Randy (Johnson), but, you know, at this age he's further along than Randy, so, he's a great talent."
• What "They're" Saying...
Washington Post writer Dave Sheinin confirmed reports from this weekend which said that the Nationals were "in it til the end" on the Chapman negotiations in a Nationals Journal post entitled, "Nats were in it to end with Chapman", wherein Mr. Sheinin quoted Nationals' team President Stan Kasten revealing some information that hadn't leaked anywhere in the national press:
"'We had a private workout with him. [General manager] Mike [Rizzo] liked him as much as any young lefthander he's ever seen, said Kasten."
"'The romance,'" according to an unnamed source quoted in Mr. Sheinin's article, "'...of having Strasburg from the right side and Chapman from the left was very exciting. Our scouts were very high on him and ownership backed us," providing further proof, Mr. Kasten tells the Washington Post writer that, "(the Nationals) are competitive [with anybody]," when it comes to signing the best available talent.
• "'We had the second-highest offer on the table,' Rizzo said at one point during our conversation. He paused and added, 'We thought it was first.'" - Source: DC GM Mike Rizzo in Washington Post writer Chico Harlan's additions to Dave Sheinin's original post.
• "The #Nationals offered Aroldis Chapman a five-year, $25 million contract. The team was not willing to go a sixth year." - Source: MLB.com's Bill Ladson via Twitter.
"The Reds would not have been one of the teams I predicted. Frankly, I think they did a great job. " - Source: Nationals' team President Stan Kasten in an article by MLB.com's Bill Ladson entitled, "Nats were in Chapman race until end".