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Thursday, January 7, 2010
Angels in the hunt for Chapman

By Mark Saxon
ESPNLosAngeles.com

The Angels remained optimistic Thursday about their chances of signing hard-throwing Cuban defector Aroldis Chapman even as the Boston Red Sox reportedly tried to lure the left-hander to Fenway Park.

A team source said things were looking good in the negotiations between the Angels and Chapman's agents, Randy and Alan Hendricks. ESPNBoston.com reported earlier that the Red Sox continue to talk to the Hendricks brothers about Chapman.

Signing Chapman would fit into the Angels' apparent offseason plan of focusing their resources on 2011 and beyond while hoping a depleted roster can defend their AL West title. The team doesn't view Chapman as close to major league ready even though it clocked his fastball at 97 mph at a recent workout.

Angels scouting director Eddie Bane, who watched Chapman in Houston earlier this month, said he has cleaned up his delivery, but that it could use more work.

"He's good, but he doesn't need to look at apartments in Anaheim or Boston. He needs to look for them in Rancho [Cucamonga] or Portland, Maine," Bane said.

Mark Saxon covers the Angels for ESPNLosAngeles.com.