Sep 10, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; Atlanta Braves third baseman Chris Johnson (23) bats are seen in the dugout prior to a game agains that eMiami Marlins at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
According to a report by Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com, Cuban free agent slugger Jose Dariel Abreu has reduced his list of suitors to the Astros, White Sox and Red Sox. You will notice the absence of a certain Miami baseball team that was reportedly “all-in” on the first baseman.
The report quotes a contract figure in the $70 million range for Abreu, which as you can imagine is likely more than the frugal Marlins would be willing to pay. The Marlins “all-in” was reportedly in the $45-$60 million range which was probably helpful to Abreu in driving up the bids from the more deep pocketed contenders.
Besides the contract figure, it is interesting to note that no National League teams made the top 3, even though the Giants and Mets had both shown interest. The 6-foot-3, 250-pound slugger is not believed to be much of a fielder at first base, so the opportunity to be a DH may have been an advantage the American League clubs had over the Marlins.
Unfortunately for an offensively starved Marlins team, Abreu could have provided a much needed infusion of power into the lineup. Plus the Fish likely believed Abreu could have provided some positive vibes with large Cuban community in Miami.
This offseason’s free agent class is thin on power hitters, but the Marlins may be wise to turn their sites on fellow Cuban first baseman, Kendrys Morales. The DH/1B hit .277/.336/.449 with 23 home runs for the Seattle Mariners in 2013.