Buster Olney reports that bidding on Cuban first baseman Jose Abreu is expected to be for $70 M.
Bidding on Cuba defector Jose Abreu is expected to be for a $70 million deal, sources say. White Sox,Astros, Rangers viewed as frontrunners.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) October 16, 2013
Olney also says that the White Sox, Rangers, and Astros are the front runners in that update. Tim Dierkes of MLBTR profiled Abreu yesterday, and predicted a six year, $54 M deal. Obviously this would trump that deal, although it would be interesting to hear how many years the $70 M deal is for. If it’s a six year deal, then Abreu would be in line to receive a little over $11.5 M per year.
The Pirates would have the money to sign Abreu, but we don’t know what their level of interest is. So far we’ve only heard that they’ve checked on him, but they haven’t been mentioned as one of the top teams going after him. The MLBTR article says that teams are split on Abreu, with some doubting his ability to hit in the majors. It’s entirely possible that the Pirates are one of those teams.
I wouldn’t completely rule out the Pirates, or any other team not mentioned in Olney’s tweet. But I also wouldn’t be penciling Abreu in to any future lineups, or assuming that the Pirates are actively pursuing the first baseman. It’s a deal that would make sense, as the Pirates need a first baseman and Abreu is a high risk, high reward option that could be cheaper and more valuable than other options. But if the Pirates don’t believe this to be true, then the deal wouldn’t make sense at all for them.