Cuban slugger Jose Dariel Abreu has been declared a free agent and been cleared to sign with an MLB club, MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez reports on Twitter. The first baseman, who will be guided by Praver Shapiro, promises to become one of the most sought-after right-handed bats on the market.
As Sanchez also notes, the Giants are among the teams that have been mentioned as possible suitors, along with the Red Sox, Rangers, Mets, White Sox, Pirates, and Marlins. At just 26 years of age, Abreu could indeed appeal to a variety of teams, even those not anticipating immediate contention. It will be interesting to see how his market takes shape after his forthcoming showcases.
As Baseball America's Ben Badler has noted, however, scouts have already had ample opportunity to get a look at Abreu given his consistent presence with the Cuban national team. According to Badler, the line on Abreu is that he lacks athleticism but is a polished hitter with real power. He notes, however, that scouts have split on how Abreu's skills will play against big league pitching.