The Miami Marlins were right not to sign this slugger
By Neil Raymond
There was a lot of talk last off-season about the Miami Marlins signing first baseman Jose Abreu. It turned out that The Fish were actually in on him in fact. The problem was that the Houston Astros offered the slugger 3 years at $20 million a year. Kim Ng wasn't interested in matching that offer, which led to Abreu choosing to sign with Houston. There were other suitors of course, and the Chicago White Sox passed on bringing him back.
The Miami Marlins were right to pass up on Jose Abreu.
The Miami Marlins often receive a lot of criticism for not spending big on free agents. It's a reasonable criticism, as a team playing in a big market such as Miami, should not be a low-spending team. When The Fish pass up on signing a top free agent, or worse don't even try it's sad. I did my share of criticizing the team's management for this...
It was very refreshing to see that the Miami Marlins actually tried to sign a top free agent. It made sense too. The Fish needed hitting help and specifically a first baseman. Jose Abreu was a career .292/.354/.507 hitter at the time, who hit at least 22 home runs in a full season. He looked like a legitimate middle of the order bat that The Fish needed.
Everything was great about Jose Abreu, except for a couple things... he was already 35 years old for one. With Abreu's birthday in January, this meant that he would start the season at 36 years old. It's hard to be a fan of giving him three years. This would mean locking him up for his age 36 through age 39 seasons. Even two years was risky in my opinion. Kim Ng was smart to refuse to overpay, and moved on when Houston went to three years (The Fish wouldn't go past two).
The other red flag with Abreu was him only hitting 15 home runs last season. It was a surprising power dip, that made you wonder if he was finally in his decline phase. It now looks as if the Miami Marlins avoided a bad contract. Jose Abreu is only hitting .235/.267/.270, with 0 home runs and 11 RBI in 28 games and 115 AB so far.