Last night, the White Sox signed Cuban first baseman Jose Dariel Abreu to a six-year, $68MM deal – the largest ever for an international free agent and the most lucrative deal for any White Sox player in club history. Abreu turned heads in his showcases for clubs earlier this month and had serious interest from the Red Sox, Astros, Rangers, Marlins, and Giants. Here's a look at the latest reactions to the deal..
- Sources tell Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (Twitter links) that bidding for Abreu was fast and furious with four clubs bidding between $63MM and $66M. It's not known which four teams put those bids down, but the White Sox’s winning bid of $68MM wasn't excessive.
- While Abreu’s power is impressive, scouts are split over whether his power will translate against major league pitching, writes Ben Badler of Baseball America. Some consider his bat speed is just average and he appears vulnerable to good fastballs on the inner third of the plate. The first baseman lacks the athleticism of fellow Cuban stars Yoenis Cespedes and Yasiel Puig.
- The scouting consensus is that Masahiro Tanaka is better than Abreu and the total price tag for the Japanese hurler should be going up, tweets Badler.
- While some are up in arms about Abreu's price tag, Tim Dierkes of MLBTradeRumors (via Twitter) notes that there is plenty chance for Abreu to be something between boom or bust at $11.3MM annually.
- It’s interesting that the White Sox signed Abreu to a hefty deal without having publicly disclosed future of first baseman Paul Konerko yet, writes Buster Olney of ESPN.com (Insider sub. req'd). It's possible the veteran has already indicated that he will probably retire or maybe the White Sox determined that Abreu is the first baseman of the future, no matter what.