Update 10/4 by Joe D.
The latest on the the Jose Abreu front is that Mets sent three scouts to Santo Domingo to watch his showcase.
However, don’t let the fact that three Met scouts were on hand, give you even a faint hope that the Mets will be in the chase for this Cuban slugger. It ain’t happening. The Mets are doing a nice job of keeping up appearances, but nothing more than that.
The Marlins obviously have more than just a passing interest as their new general manager Dan Jennings led a contingent that also included international operations director Albert Gonzalez, pro scout Dave Roberts and Double-A manager Andy Barkett.
An American League scout at the showcase said he anticipates the Marlins making a serious play for Abreu, according to the Sun-Sentinel.
The Red Sox had at least 10 front office members and scouts at the showcase. Kenny Williams of the White Sox, Brian Sabean of the Giants and Kevin Towers of the Diamondbacks also were among the heavy hitters present. Coming off their ungratifying season, the Rangers are in need of an Abreu-like splash as well.
There’s huge difference between legitimate interest and fleeting interest.
As for the showcase itself, it seems that one one of those teams is going to get themselves a heck of a slugger.
“He was pretty impressive,” one scout said. “The bat plays. I think the kid is going to hit. If somebody thinks he’s going to hit, they’re going to pay him a lot of money. He’s going to be a middle-of-the-order type run producer.”
“Some of those pitchers were throwing pretty good,” said another scout, who projects Abreu as a .270-30-100 talent. “In batting practice he put on a show.”
I’m looking forward to seeing who wins the battle for him…
Original Post 9/30
Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com is reporting that Cuban first baseman Jose Dariel Abreu has officially been declared a free agent and is now eligible to sign with any Major League club. MLB Trade Rumors adds that Abreu “promises to become one of the most sought-after right-handed bats” on the free agent market.
The San Francisco Giants are considered to be the heavy favorites as they look to power themselves back into the post season in 2014. The Mets were initially considered to be one of the teams interested, but those rumors have since petered out.
Outside of the Giants, I think it’s very likely that Abreu ends up with an AL team. A lot is being made of his “athleticism” and the talk is that he can barely play first base. Here’s a quick glance at his stats in Cuba:
His claim to fame involves the three consecutive seasons with 30 home runs with a solid batting average, of course. Abreu has been called the Cuban Barry Bonds — without steroids — and turns 27 in January of next year. Although there are concerns about how his bat will play out stateside, he is certainly going to be a sought out young talent considering he will cost nothing but money as a potential gamble for a team — and no posting fee is needed unlike Japanese players.
I, for one, am not getting my hopes up. I was very disappointed we didn’t get Yoenis Cespedes — especially for the deal he got. We’ll see what kind of money Abreu receives.
Abreu is said to be seeking a four to five year deal to make his move to the US, so how do you all feel about him? Would you be really disappointed if the Mets don’t pursue him? Where do you think he’ll end up?