MLB Trade Rumors is reporting that Cuban prospect Jose Dariel Abreu has officially established residency in Haiti according to what a source told Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com.
Essentially, Abreu has cleared the first hurdle toward signing with a major league team. He now has to file the proper paperwork with MLB and once he does that, he will be declared a free agent.
The Red Sox, Rangers, Giants, Mets, White Sox, Pirates, and Marlins are all possible landing spots according to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN (read more below).
The 26-year-old slugger could land a deal anywhere between 4/$40MM and 5/$75MM according to various reports.
Original Post 9/18
Some scouts weighed in on Cuban phenom Jose Abreu in an ESPN Insider report by Jerry Crasnick. I’ve been hoping the Mets would kick the tires on Abreu, even though I don’t see first base as a real area of need compared to corner outfield and shortstop, but this comment from one scout gave me pause:
“I like him fine, but I wouldn’t sell the ranch to get him,” the scout said. “The problem is, Cespedes and Puig can go 0-for-4 and they can still win you a game because they can run and throw. Abreu isn’t that guy. He’s more an Edgar Martinez-type. He has to hit or you’ve got nothing. He’s all bat.”
Now I don’t have a problem with someone who is all bat, especially when it’s a masher like Abreu and even more so if the price is right. By that I mean no more than $10-12 million per season and not more than four years.
Another scout chimed in with the following:
“If he is simply what he is right now, he will probably develop into a middle-of-the-road first baseman with ’80′ raw power, who guesses and kills mistakes and inferior pitching but struggles against top-quality guys,” the scout said. “That’s not a bad floor, actually, and that’s the reason why he’ll get paid anyway. But he may disappoint the expectations of ‘best hitter on the planet’ that some have already placed on him.”
And a third scout adds:
“There are 30 teams out there, and there will be people bidding for him, and it comes down to what the market will bear,” said a scout. “I’ve been shocked before. No matter what you think is going to happen, it’s usually going to be higher.”
One thing all scouts agree on is that he can step right into the majors and hit 25-35 home runs while batting anywhere Between .260-.280. At 26 years old, Abreu has only touched the surface of his immense talent.
Last month I wrote the following about Abreu:
Whoever does get Abreu, will no doubt be adding a 30+ home run bat into their lineup who has a great eye at the plate and has always produced a high average and on-base percentage. His strikeouts are low which is surprising for a player with such power, but that’s just another reason why scouts deem him to be such a unique and special talent.
One more thing that will make Abreu such a prime target is that this is one of the weakest free agent markets we’ve ever seen for first basemen – with Mike Napoli being the top dog. Bidding will be fierce and as much as Abreu would fill a huge power void in the Mets lineup and finally solve the question of who is our first baseman of the future, I just don’t see the Mets having the stomach to shell out the millions it’s going to take to land this Cuban phenom.
Sources told ESPN that he will begin auditioning for clubs in the Dominican later this month and that the Red Sox, Rangers, Giants, Mets, White Sox, Pirates, and Marlins are all potential suitors.