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  1. #1
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    Report: Top Cuban slugger Jose Dariel Abreu defects

    A pair of agents told El Nuevo Herald that first baseman Jose Dariel Abreu has defected from Cuba and is somewhere in the Caribbean, with separate reports placing him in the Dominican Republic and Haiti.

    If the news is true, Abreu would rate as biggest Cuban free agent ever. Arguably the country’s best hitter, Abreu is just entering his prime at 26 and he tied for the league lead in homers last year, hitting 19 in 264 at-bats. He finished the season batting .345 with a 39/54 K/BB ratio. In the World Baseball Classic, he went 9-for-25 with three homers and nine RBI.

    Particularly in light of the success of Yoenis Cespedes and Yasiel Puig in the majors, Abreu will likely set off quite the bidding war if he’s made a free agent. Given that the Dodgers, Yankees, Tigers and Angels already have huge commitments at first base, the Red Sox and Rangers would seem to be in the best position to land him, with the Mets, Blue Jays, White Sox and Mariners rating as longer shots.

    Personally, I think Abreu would immediately emerge as an All-Star candidate at first base. A contract exceeding $70 million-$80 million would hardly come as a surprise.
    http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/20...medium=twitter


    What say you?

  2. #2
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    If true I would not pick up linds contract which would take care of that 7M you committed to him plus whatever platoon bat you wanted to get. THenyou have EE and Abreu at 1b/DH. In this scenario though you are prolly stuck with Bonifacio/Macier/crappy C (insert whatever name here)

  3. #3
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    Agreed, this is one of those guys I would take a chance on, offer him maybe a 5 year/75-80 mil deal. AA chickened out on Darvish, here is Cuba's best export, consider a good offer for him...

  4. #4
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    If AA is seriously about making a playoff push, get this guy.

  5. #5
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    If we're gonna have a $150-160M payroll.. sure why not. Dont see us being the high bidder though. Red Sox and Rangers will probably dish out more for him and 1B/DH isnt as big a need for us as SP, C, 2B.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by North Yorker View Post
    If we're gonna have a $150-160M payroll.. sure why not. Dont see us being the high bidder though. Red Sox and Rangers will probably dish out more for him and 1B/DH isnt as big a need for us as SP, C, 2B.
    You are right that C/2B is a need but I think that Lawrie (healthy) will be a fine contributor and a very productive player at 3B so if lets say you do get a Abreu (and he is what ppl say he is) then you have YOu have Bautista, EE, ABreu, Reyes, Lawrie and Rasmus in your lineup as above average to elite bats at their respective positions. Having that in your lineup allows you to well kinda cheap out at C/2B. Considering you have a sunk cost in Izturis for 2 more years after this (mind he is playing alot better then he was and even if he puts up a .730~ ops then its fine considering what you have around him) and melky for one more year then you have a pretty potent lineup there. Payroll might be an issue though:

    With most of the guys com,ing back next year and everyone who will get paid:

    C: JPA (sake of argument say he gets 1.5M in arb, of course this would be a world where AA actually offers that sad sack of an excuse of a catcher arbitration)
    1B: EE 9M
    2B: Izturis 3M
    SS REyes 16M
    3B Lawrie .5M
    LF: Melky 8M
    CF Rasmus
    RF: Bautista 14M
    DH:
    SP
    Dickey: 12M
    Morrow: 8M
    Buehrle: 19M
    Happ: 5.2M
    Romero: 7.75M


    RP: Janssen, Santos, McGowan, Cecil, Delenbar, Loup, (enter whoever else makes league minimum): 11.75

    Lind buyout: 2M

    Right there already you have 117.7M

    The big thing missing is Rasmus. If you add what he will make in arb or if you choose to extend him (maybe AA can get him on a 3 year deal with some options? WHo knows?) BUt you have to think he will get somewhere in the neighborhood of 7M~ in arb or some sort of deal.

    So now you have 124.7M 20 players.

    Add your 4 bench spots

    CI: Derosa: .750
    C:Thole: 1.25
    SS/2B: You would think bonifacio here but he also is a sorry excuse of a player and god willing AA will non-tender him and maybe he brings him back on the cheap. Either way you are prolly looking at someone making around 1-1.5M for this spot
    OF: Davis would be the logical choice but if you are trying to fit in Abreu here then you can be paying him 3M~ to sit on the bench. BUt here again you are prolly looking at someone who can play all 3 positions (if you dont bring back Bonifacio). So you are looking at prolly something around 2M~.

    (4 players) Bench: 5.5


    Total 24 players at 130.2M

    IF you do sign Abreu to what ppl think he will make then you are looking at another 12-16M

    SO now you have a 25 man roster at around 145M.

    THey have minor league depth in terms of SP but do you really want to spend all that money and hope that one or two of Hutchison, Drebek, Nolin, Stroman can emerge as MLB caliber pitchers in 2014? **** I dont know but to me its like buying top notch everything to fill out a house that could crumble at any time....Off to Ikea!!...maybe they have some discounts on starting pitchers...

  7. #7
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    More on him
    Jose Abreu, the premier offensive player in Cuba, has left the island and will try to sign with a major league team, Baseball America has learned.

    Abreu, a 26-year-old first baseman, has played professionally in Cuba since the 2003-04 season, so he will be able to sign as a free agent exempt from the international signing bonus pools, with a massive major league contract likely headed his way.

    That process could still take several months. Abreu will have to establish residency in another country, have Major League Baseball declare him a free agent and the U.S. government’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) clear him to sign, but interest in Abreu should be fierce and should have a major impact on this offseason’s free agent market.

    At 6-foot-3, 250 pounds, Abreu is a physically imposing righthanded hitter with tremendous raw power to all fields, with astounding numbers in Cuba the last several years. He also ranked as the No. 4 prospect among players in the 2013 World Baseball Classic not already signed by an MLB organization.

    This year in a Serie Nacional season shortened by the World Baseball Classic, Abreu hit .382/.535/.735 with 13 home runs, 37 walks and 21 strikeouts in 42 games playing for Cienfuegos. Abreu led Cuba in home runs, on-base percentage, slugging and OPS while ranking second in batting average to earn all-star honors.

    During the 2011-12 season, Abreu hit .394/.542/.837 with 35 home runs, 75 walks and 40 strikeouts in 71 games. Abreu led Serie Nacional in batting, OBP (by 63 points over Alfredo Despaigne), slugging (by 142 points over Despaigne) and OPS. Abreu was an all-star and ranked second in homers—only one behind Despaigne despite having 63 fewer plate appearances—although Despaigne still captured the MVP.

    In 2010-11, Abreu won the MVP award after having one of the greatest seasons in Cuban history, despite missing 23 games due to bursitis in his shoulder. Abreu batted .453/.597/.986 in 293 plate appearances, blasting 33 home runs with 58 walks and 32 strikeouts. He led Cuba in batting average, OBP, slugging and OPS. He tied Yoenis Cespedes, now with the Athletics, for the league lead in home runs despite stepping to the plate 122 fewer times.

    Abreu’s MVP season came one year after he finished third in MVP voting behind Despaigne and third baseman Yulieski Gourriel. Abreu batted .399/.555/.822 with 30 home runs, 74 walks and 49 strikeouts in 82 games that season to lead Cuba in OBP, slugging and OPS while ranking second in batting average and finishing one home run shy of Despaigne for the league lead in homers.

    Much like they were with Cespedes, scouts are extremely familiar with Abreu, having followed him while he played for Cuba’s top national team at several international tournaments over the last few years. International scouts’ most recent look at Abreu came at the World Port Tournament in Rotterdam last month, although Abreu only played in the first two games of the tournament due to injury. Scouts saw more of Abreu in March at the World Baseball Classic, where he hit .360/.385/.760 with three home runs in 25 at-bats, numbers in line with his typical dominance during international play.

    In the prime of his career, Abreu is certain to sign a major league contract, the only question is how high the dollars will get. While interest in Abreu will be strong among some teams, there’s expected to be a split camp, with some scouts not sold that his hitting will translate against major league pitching.

    Abreu is an intelligent hitter without a lot of effort in in his swing and the power to hit 30-plus homers in a season. He has an unorthodox setup with a double toe tap in his stride, and some scouts consider his bat speed only fair, which they believe makes it hard for him to catch up to good velocity on the inner third of the plate.

    At the WBC, Abreu showed he could handle curveballs in the strike zone but he was prone to chasing sliders off the plate, although that was a question mark on both Cespedes and Yasiel Puig when they arrived from Cuba as well. He’s limited athletically, but any team that signs Abreu will be banking on his bat and tremendous power profiling in the middle of the lineup.

    The lack of first basemen on the free agent market—the best is Mike Napoli, who turns 32 in October—should only increase the demand for Abreu if he can become cleared to sign this offseason.
    http://www.baseballamerica.com/major...u-leaves-cuba/

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by JaysFan87 View Post
    Abreu, a 26-year-old first baseman, has played professionally in Cuba since the 2003-04 season
    26-years-old and has played a decade of professional baseball in Cuba. Makes you wonder if he's really 26.

  9. #9
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    Even if he's 29/30 your going to give him a 5 maybe 6 deal max. At $15 mil per. Even if he gets you 25 hrs, .280+ avg, .330+ obp he's worth the cost. Seems like it says he takes his fair share of walks so he might be a very good 2 guy for us. Not sure how he runs, if he has some speed, throw him at the #2 hole.

    Buehrle is the wild card in terms of trying to get rid of his contract. Its very slim you do so. Dickey might have some attraction but who knows at what price. Jays won't have too many options in terms of pitching. Hutchison is a definite for 2014 but will be on an innings limit, same with Drabek who looks like a brand spanking new pitcher since returning.

    It's very hard to say...you can have a loaded lineup but if you have no pitching to speak off, what's the point of spending all this money on a lineup that will be hot and cold. I would ultimately like the Jays to be able to address the pitching first but the prospect of having a solid 1B/DH is interesting...

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by JaysFan87 View Post
    You are right that C/2B is a need but I think that Lawrie (healthy) will be a fine contributor and a very productive player at 3B so if lets say you do get a Abreu (and he is what ppl say he is) then you have YOu have Bautista, EE, ABreu, Reyes, Lawrie and Rasmus in your lineup as above average to elite bats at their respective positions. Having that in your lineup allows you to well kinda cheap out at C/2B. Considering you have a sunk cost in Izturis for 2 more years after this (mind he is playing alot better then he was and even if he puts up a .730~ ops then its fine considering what you have around him) and melky for one more year then you have a pretty potent lineup there. Payroll might be an issue though:

    With most of the guys com,ing back next year and everyone who will get paid:

    C: JPA (sake of argument say he gets 1.5M in arb, of course this would be a world where AA actually offers that sad sack of an excuse of a catcher arbitration)
    1B: EE 9M
    2B: Izturis 3M
    SS REyes 16M
    3B Lawrie .5M
    LF: Melky 8M
    CF Rasmus
    RF: Bautista 14M
    DH:
    SP
    Dickey: 12M
    Morrow: 8M
    Buehrle: 19M
    Happ: 5.2M
    Romero: 7.75M


    RP: Janssen, Santos, McGowan, Cecil, Delenbar, Loup, (enter whoever else makes league minimum): 11.75

    Lind buyout: 2M

    Right there already you have 117.7M

    The big thing missing is Rasmus. If you add what he will make in arb or if you choose to extend him (maybe AA can get him on a 3 year deal with some options? WHo knows?) BUt you have to think he will get somewhere in the neighborhood of 7M~ in arb or some sort of deal.

    So now you have 124.7M 20 players.

    Add your 4 bench spots

    CI: Derosa: .750
    C:Thole: 1.25
    SS/2B: You would think bonifacio here but he also is a sorry excuse of a player and god willing AA will non-tender him and maybe he brings him back on the cheap. Either way you are prolly looking at someone making around 1-1.5M for this spot
    OF: Davis would be the logical choice but if you are trying to fit in Abreu here then you can be paying him 3M~ to sit on the bench. BUt here again you are prolly looking at someone who can play all 3 positions (if you dont bring back Bonifacio). So you are looking at prolly something around 2M~.

    (4 players) Bench: 5.5


    Total 24 players at 130.2M

    IF you do sign Abreu to what ppl think he will make then you are looking at another 12-16M

    SO now you have a 25 man roster at around 145M.

    THey have minor league depth in terms of SP but do you really want to spend all that money and hope that one or two of Hutchison, Drebek, Nolin, Stroman can emerge as MLB caliber pitchers in 2014? **** I dont know but to me its like buying top notch everything to fill out a house that could crumble at any time....Off to Ikea!!...maybe they have some discounts on starting pitchers...
    Nice job....... It is a lot of money, but damn it, it still bugs me about Darvish and how we'd have an ACE in our rotation. Is this guy the next Miguel Cabrera????? now that you have to take a close look at!
    Last edited by wagnall; 08-12-2013 at 03:41 PM.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by mkcavy View Post
    26-years-old and has played a decade of professional baseball in Cuba. Makes you wonder if he's really 26.
    It's really not that unheard of for a teenager to play pro ball in Latin America. I understand what you're saying though.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by North Yorker View Post
    If we're gonna have a $150-160M payroll.. sure why not. Dont see us being the high bidder though. Red Sox and Rangers will probably dish out more for him and 1B/DH isnt as big a need for us as SP, C, 2B.
    I see Red Sox dropping some serious cash just because this season is going well.

  13. #13
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    If the team wants to spend the money to bring this guy in and fix the rotation, then I'm all for it. Personally I'm not holding my breath, and knowing the Jays, he'll be end up in Texas or Boston anyway.

  14. #14
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    The hype machine is set on max. Pass.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by mkcavy View Post
    26-years-old and has played a decade of professional baseball in Cuba. Makes you wonder if he's really 26.
    Roberto Osuna was playing Pro ball in Mexico at 15-16. The talent level of a Pro league like Cuba's doesn't make it that unlikely.

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