The Mets sent three scouts to Santo Domingo last week to watch 26-year-old, free-agent Cuban 1B Jose Abreu, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post.
A high-ranking team official told the Star-Ledger’s Jorge Castillo that his scouts came away “impressed” with Abreu’s power.
Texas is considered the front-runner to land the Cuban slugger, Baseball America’s Ben Badler recently said after attending the hitter’s showcase.
“Abreu has outstanding strength in his swing,” Badler said. “Scouts consider him a surefire first baseman. … His hands were fine, but any team that lands him will be banking on his bat.”
In February 2012, Yeonis Cespedes signed a four-year, $36-million deal with the A’s. Last winter, the Dodgers signed Yusiel Puig to a seven-year, $42-million contract. According to Castillo, Abreu is expected to garner a similar deal.
Peter Gammons recently said on MLB Network that he is hearing from league sources that Abreu will likely get offers of at least $50 million.
Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer
Abreu is less dynamic than Puig and Cespedes, and he’s older and more limited in the field. He’s a one-dimensional player. So, it seems like he should warrant less of a contract. However, I think because of Puig’s success, it has created an intrigue around Abreu that could irrationally lift his price. I still think he ends up getting a five- or six-year deal at around $10 million a year, with several teams bidding on his services.
The Mets are interested, people close to the team say. But, I suspect it is a limited interest. The Rangers make the most sense, but the Marlins are rumored to be laying in the weeds.