Cuban first baseman Jose Dariel Abreu will hold a showcase for interested teams in late September, according to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com. Crasnick notes that the Giants, Red Sox, Rangers, Mets, White Sox, Marlins and Pirates are among the teams expected to be interested in signing the 26-year old, who recently defected from Cuba.
Abreu will be one of the most sought-after first baseman available on the free agent market this offseason, and will likely command a bigger contract than other options like Mike Napoli, James Loney, Justin Morneau and Mike Morse. While some estimate that Abreu's deal will eclipse the $60 million mark, some speculate that a more reasonable expectation for the contract would fall in the four-year, $30 million range.
While the Red Sox, Orioles and White Sox have been among the teams who have scouted in recent months, the Giants and Marlins may emerge as the favorites to sign him this winter. As Joe Frisaro of MLB.com reported last week, Miami is looking at Abreu and a couple of Cuban pitchers in an effort to increase the team's presence on the international market. Due to the team's proximity to Cuba and lack of future financial commitments, the Marlins will probably look to establish a young core centered around Abreu, fellow Cuban Jose Fernandez, and slugger Giancarlo Stanton.
The Giants have been aggressive in their scouting of Abreu and are expected to make a serious run at signing him, according to CSNBayArea's Andrew Baggarly. As ESPNDeportes.com's Dionisio Soldevilla recently reported, GM Brian Sabean and former manager Felipe Alou have been watching Abreu in the Dominican Republic, signaling that the team will be one of the teams to watch in the Abreu sweepstakes.