According to Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com, Cuban first baseman Jose Dariel Abreu has narrowed his list of suitors to a final three teams; the Houston Astros, Boston Red Sox and Chicago White Sox. He could sign with one of these three teams within the next two weeks.
The 26 year-old is expected to cost whichever franchise emerges victorious somewhere in the ballpark of around $70 million.
MLBTR predicted that Abreu would need a six-year, $54 million deal in order to sign. However, other reports have mentioned $60 million as a key number in talks. Olney blew these out of the water, saying that it could reach the $70 million range mentioned earlier – which would dwarf the two ‘model’ deals in recent memory: the four-year, $36 million deal Yoenis Cespedes inked with Oakland and Dodgers’ outfielder Yasiel Puig’s 7 year, $42 million deal.
His defense has come under some recent criticism, and as Olney notes, the three purported front-runners for Abreu are all American League teams, which would allow him to DH if necessary. Miami was reportedly “all in” on Abreu, seeking another Cuban star to pair with ace Jose Fernandez, in hopes of increasing fan interest and attendance in the seasons to come after the new Marlins Park cost taxpayers millions.
He would make an intriguing pick-up for the Astros, as they continue to build under the leadership of GM Jeff Luhnow, who helped build the St. Louis Cardinals into the perennial contender they are of late. With a third-straight #1 draft pick coming next June, Houston has been stockpiling young talent under his guidance, including top picks Carlos Correa and Mark Appel.