The Red Sox worked out Cuban slugger Jose Dariel Abreu at the team's development complex in the Dominican republic according to a report from Sean McAdam from CSNNE.
Abreu recently established residency in Haiti after defecting from Cuba earlier this year. He recently completed paperwork and has been vetted and cleared by Major League Baseball.
An intense bidding war is expected for Abreu, who has incredible raw power and size (6-3, 250 pounds). Abreu, however, is limited in the field and profiles as either a below-average first baseman, or more likely, a DH.
With Mike Napoli's contract expiring after the 2013 season, the Red Sox are currently deciding which road to take in free agency. Boston has interest in retaining Napoli, who will finish the season second on the team in homers (23) and RBI (91).
But the Sox would presumably find a way to work Abreu into their lineup even if they re-signed Napoli. Abreu could be viewed as the team's eventual replacement for David Ortiz at DH. Ortiz is soon to turn 38 and is entering the final year of his two-year extension, signed last November
One ESPN report placed the Red Sox as the favorites to land Abreu while another report from Ben Balder of Baseball America placed the Texas Rangers as the most likely landing spot for the first baseman due to the team's willingness to dole out money to international players such as Yu Darvish.
The 6'3, 250 pound Abreu has been one of the best hitters in Cuba, where he hit .382 with 13 home runs and a 1.270 OPS in 42 games. Last season in Cuba, Abreu hit .394 with 35 home runs and a 1.379 OPS in just 71 games. Abreu, who does not project well as a defender, could become a designated hitter in the future.
Among the teams that are interested in Abreu other than the Red Sox and Rangers are the Giants, Orioles, Mets, Pirates, Nationals and White Sox.