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Thursday, October 10, 2013

Mets Rumors: Mets Scouts impressed by Jose Abreu's power

Mets Rumors:

Cuban defector José Abreu is the most intriguing free agent in baseball this winter. Like recent fellow countrymen Yoenis Cespedes and Yasiel Puig curiosity exists over what the 26-year-old first baseman will command on the free-agent market and whether he can quickly justify what will likely be an expensive contract.

The Mets could in the market for a first baseman as they decide whether Ike Davis or Lucas Duda is the solution. They surely desire another power bat and were one of several teams on hand for Abreu’s showcase in the Dominican Republic last week.

A high-ranking Mets official said the organization had “a few guys from the U.S.” and “some of our international scouts” in attendance. The official requested anonymity because the team’s evaluation is ongoing. "I heard that his power was impressive," the official said.

The first baseman played five seasons in the Cuban Serie Nacional. In 2010, he produced one of the best offensive seasons in Cuban history, hitting .453/.597/.986 with a league-record 33 home runs and 93 runs batted in 66 games. A shoulder injury sidelined Abreu for 23 games. He was named the league’s MVP.

Last season, he posted a .387/.535/.735 slash line with 13 home runs and 37 walks in 42 games (the Cuban season was shortened).

In the 2013 World Baseball Classic, Abreu went 9-for-25 with three home runs and nine runs batted in. The performance wasn’t against top competition, however. Cuba played Brazil, China, Japan, and Chinese Taipei once, and the Netherlands twice before bowing out in the second round of the tournament.

Cuban defector Cespedes signed a four-year, $36-million deal with the Athletics. Last winter, the Dodgers signed Puig to a seven-year, $42-million contract. Abreu is expected to garner a similar deal.

However, Cespedes and Puig, both outfielders, supply stout defense and speed. They can impact games in more ways. They were also younger at the time of their agreements — Cespedes was 25 and Puig was 21.

Abreu is considered a one-dimensional talent — he has drawn comparisons to Edgar Martinez and Ryan Howard — and will be 27 on Opening Day next season.

Those are factors the Mets, and other clubs, will consider as they bid for the slugger. The Mets, who have significant money coming off the books, must decide whether Abreu would be a worthwhile investment.

If you take a look at the other contracts warranted by past signers, the Mets might have to take on between $6 and $9 million for at least four years. That would equal $24 to $ 36 million for a four year deal. 

Ike Davis will be set to make at least $2.9 Million, while Lucas Duda will be making at least $500,000 in 2014. If the Mets were to sign Abreu, they would most likely have to put Davis on the trading block to relieve his salary or they could start him in minors as well. The Mets could live with Duda making $500,000 and starting in the minors..

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