According to multiple reports, 26-year-old Cuban 1B Jose Dariel Abreu has defected from Cuba.
He has yet to be cleared by the U.S. government to play in the majors (he can only file for free agency after he’s been cleared).
Abreu is is a former MVP in Cuba. In 2010-11, he hit .453 with 33 HR and 93 RBI in a 66-game season.
He hit .360 with three HR and nine RBI in the most recent World Baseball Classic.
The Marlins, Red Sox, Rangers, Mariners, A’s, Rockies and Nationals are among the teams most likely to sign Abreu, ESPN.com’s Jim Bowdwn recently wrote, based on what he’s heard from around the league.
Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer
The early buzz in baseball is 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.
Abreu is rumored to be holding a showcase in September. I assume the Mets will be there. But, I don’t expect Sandy Alderson to allocate close to 10 percent of his budget on a guy with no hard data to research… especially on a six-year deal. It’s just not Sandy’s style.
This is probably smart, given his budget. However, if there was ever a guy to gamble on like this, Abreu reads like a good shot…