Rob Biertempfel reported yesterday that the Pittsburgh Pirates have been scouting Cuban defector Jose Abreu, and will attend a showcase he will hold in September. The Pirates have been mentioned in the past with Cuban players, but they have never been serious bidders. Most of the international signings the Pirates make are off the radar players like Starling Marte ($85,000), Alen Hanson ($150,000) or Gregory Polanco ($75,000).
Baseball America profiled Abreu, and broke down what needs to happen before he can sign. Basically he needs to establish residency in another country, be declared eligible as an MLB free agent, and then he's able to sign. Because he's 26 years old, he wouldn't count against a team's international budget, which could drive up the price. Jeff Passan speculated that the bidding could reach $60 M+.
On the surface this move would make sense for the Pirates. Abreu is projected to be a potential power hitter who can hit 30 homers a year. That's not the consensus, ...
Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.