If yesterday’s news about Jose Abreu didn’t signal that the Pittsburgh Pirates aren’t in the running, then today’s news will. Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com reports that the Cuban first baseman has narrowed his list down to three teams. Those teams are the Astros, Red Sox, and White Sox. Sanchez says the deal could be in the $70 M range, which is the same as what Buster Olney reported yesterday.
Abreu’s bat and his power potential are very appealing, although it’s interesting that he’s looking at American League teams. Since we can assume that Abreu is only going to be following the money, then this could show that American League teams were going after him harder than National League teams. There have been concerns about his defense, and the presence of the designated hitter in the AL could be why those teams have more interest in Abreu.
Earlier today I wrote about how I thought James Loney would make the most sense for the Pirates. While I think that Abreu will provide a lot of offensive value, I think that a Loney/Gaby Sanchez platoon could provide the same overall value when you consider defense, average, and on-base percentage.
UPDATE 8:27 PM: Ken Rosenthal says that Abreu is finalizing a six year, $68 M deal, expected to be with the White Sox.
Jose Abreu finalizing terms on six-year, $68M deal. Club expected to be #WhiteSox. Deal will be largest first-time contract for int’l player
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) October 18, 2013
Tim started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.
You have to be kidding me?! He is going to sign for about 11 million a year?! I just don’t get why the Buccos weren’t in on this guy. I know it is uncharacteristic but we seriously have the room right now to add someone like him to the team. Quite ridiculous and the White Sox are not a good baseball team either. I just don’t get it :/
Nate, I think the Bucs weren’t in on this guy because it’s going to be $11 million per year. Evidently he’s a defensive liabilty and unproven that he can hit MLB pitching at age 27. You are correct that the White Sox are not a good team, and this contract exemplifies why. Giving so much to a 1 tool player with no track record who should be in his prime but may take 2 years to adjust to the American game (if he adjusts at all) is insane. All of the other Cuban players signed recently that have succeeded in the majors bring some defensive value to more challenging positions, and all are younger than this guy. There’s a reason the BoSox and Rangers didn’t get this guy and it’s because they’re smart organizations. Maybe the Bucs should have taken a flyer on him at half this price, but thanks, the White Sox can overpay all they want.
And FWIW, the Bucs absolutely need to give Lambo a chance at either RF or 1B this year. You just don’t let age appropriate guys that have that kind of year at AA & AAA waste away as bench players or worse. Yeah maybe the last guy that mashed like that at AAA didn’t work out, but that doesn’t mean you don’t give one of the best AAA players in the country a shot. If he doesn’t work out, Polanco and/or Dickerson could help out mid-season and there’s always in season trades to add help. I’m not saying they don’t try to add a piece or two before next season, but Lambo has to be given a chance to prove himself.
I like your thinking, sticky. With a couple of exceptions, the Pirates are still a young, up-and-coming team. They dipped their foot in the post-season water this season, which can only help in the future. The Rays are the team that gives the footprint for continuing success for a small market team. Decide which players you want to hold onto for a few years, and which players will be overpaid, and make smart trades with them. Pirates still have a large number of players who project to be major leaguers, mostly pitchers, but also enough position players. We will never know if Lambo will be an effective ML player unless he is given a shot.
Maybe he likes the idea of that short porch in left at Minute Maid?
Huntington didn’t wait long to sign Martin last year. Let’s see if he is just as aggressive in filling the hole at first this year.
Pirates have hole in RF and 1B for next year… IMO, it’s ok to fill one with a platoon or some other internal option(s) that’s not ideal but not both
If you sign Marlon Byrd or someone similar for RF, then I can live with starting the season with a Lambo/Sanchez or similar platoon.
If you sign Loney, Morneau or better for 1B, I can live with Tabata or Tabata/Lambo in RF until Polanco is ready, but nothing better than Tabata/Lambo/Sanchez/similar for RF AND 1B is unacceptable.
Also, I saw Mark Trumbo’s name mentioned. NO thank you! He’s a 1B version of Pedro. The lineup doesn’t need him, bad OBP (worst of any MLB 1B last year) doesn’t lengthen the lineup and doesn’t help the defense. Byrd and Morneau were perfect for this team, both were good defensively and both lengthened the lineup and worked AB’s… everybody focuses on Morneau not hitting HR’s but he was a very patient hitter who got on base for Byrd and a hot Pedro.
It’s shame that Abreu is going to the WHite Sox instead of the Giants as Brandon Belt is the 1B I’d like to trade for instead of Trumbo.