UPDATE, 9:01 PM:
According to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, Jose Dariel Abreu has signed a six year deal with the White Sox worth $68 million dollars.
According to Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com, International free agent Jose Dariel Abreu has narrowed his list of potential destinations to three American League teams – the Houston Astros, Boston Red Sox, and Chicago White Sox. Sanchez notes that Abreu could choose a team within the next two weeks, and that his contract is expected to be roughly $70 million.
According to Buster Olney of ESPN, the Red Sox don’t expect to sign Abreu, and the Astros are “skeptical” that they’ll be able to land him. If that’s accurate, the White Sox will be the last team standing.
Abreu, who will turn 27 prior to the 2014 campaign, recently defected from Cuba, and held a showcase in the Dominican Republic a few weeks ago. Representatives from the Mets were on hand for Abreu’s showcase, and came away impressed with his power.
Most scouts agree that Abreu’s power will translate in the big leagues, but there’s concern over perceived holes in his swing. With defense at first base that’s average at best and no speed, Abreu looks like a potential one tool guy. That one tool (the ability to hit for power) could be a special one, though.
It should be noted that two early frontrunners (the Marlins and the Giants) are not on Abreu’s list of potential destinations. Both of those teams are in the National League, and their absence as possible landing spots seems to reinforce the notion that Abreu is better served in the American League. Whether those teams failed to bid enough for Abreu or he opted to go to an American League club instead remains to be seen.
Regardless of the fact that not one National League team is a finalist for Abreu’s services, there will definitely be Mets fans who will be up in arms over the fact that the Mets didn’t sign Abreu. I’m not one of them.
The two most glaring needs the Mets have are in the outfield and at shortstop. They can use an upgrade at first base, and Abreu could’ve been a fit. However, there are concerns over his ability to stick at first base and doubts that he’ll be a true impact bat. Guaranteeing $70 million to a completely unknown quantity who’s a one dimensional player would’ve been a poor decision.