10/05/13 - Philly.com - Cuban slugger Jose Abreu chased by Marlins, Giants
Abreu will be one of the most intriguing hitters available in free agency.
Cuban-born first baseman Jose Dariel Abreu has officially been declared a
free agent by Major League Baseball and is free to sign with a team,
reports MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez.
Abreu is hoping to follow in the shoes of fellow countrymen like
Aroldis Chapman and Yasiel Puig as they both received big contracts
to jump to the MLB.
The MLB had several hurdles Abreu needed to go through before he could
officially become a free agent. One of those was to establish residency in
a new country, something Abreu did a month ago when he moved to Haiti.
After that, there was a hefty amount of paperwork that needed to be sorted
out. All those tasks have finally been completed, allowing Abreu to become
one of those most intriguing free agents this upcoming offseason.
Several teams have already shown interest in signing the 26-year-old,
including the Giants, Rangers, Red Sox, Marlins, Mets and
Pirates. An AL team may be a more sensible destination for Abreu, with
his questionable defense making him better suited to DH.
A big right-handed slugger, Abreu hit .382/.535/.735 with 13 homers over
42 games with his Serie Nacional team in Cuba in 2013, a year that was
interrupted by the World Baseball Classic. During the 2011-2012
season, he mashed 35 home runs and posted a 1.379 OPS over 71 games. The
year before that, he hit for an unbelieveable 1.583 OPS.
Abreu will command a big contract as teams are not required to stay within
international signing limits. Reports say that he could sign a deal worth
around $60 million, which would be a record for a Cuban defector.
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