The Mets have three scouts in Santo Domingo to watch Cuban 1B Jose Abreu, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post.
9:40 am: Abreu will hold an open showcase in the Dominican Republic today and tomorrow, Ben Badler reports for Baseball America..
According to Badler, scouts are mixed on whether Abreu’s skills will translate against major league pitching, with some scouts preferring free-agent 1B Mike Napoli over Abreu.
Badler says Abreu has plus-plus raw power, but has a tendency to chase hard breaking pitches off the plate. There is also concern about his bat speed and the way he cuts himself off with his swing, making him vulnerable against decent fastballs on the inner-third of the plate.
Sept. 30: Abreu declared as a free agent this past weekend and is clear to sign with an MLB team, MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez reported on Twitter. The Giants, Red Sox, Rangers, Mets, White Sox, Pirates, and Marlins are all listed as possible suitors, according to MLB Trade Rumors.
Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer
Sept. 30: The buzz in baseball has been that it could take at least a six-year, $60 million deal to land Abreu, if not more, especially given the hype surrounding fellow Cubans Yoenis Cespedes and Yasiel Puig. I’ve also heard that it’s more likely he signs with an American League team (think Red Sox and Rangers), because scouts who have watched him say he’ll need to be a DH sooner than later. He’s played first base, but he’s more hitter than fielder…
In a poll on MetsBlog this past summer, 66 percent of voters said the Mets should try to sign Abreu to a six-year deal that pays him roughly $10 million a year, despite the team’s total budget sitting around $95 million.