Oct
05

NYP: Yankees among teams scouting Jose Abreu

By

Via NY Post: The Yankees are among several clubs scouting Cuban slugger Jose Abreu during his workouts in the Dominican Republic. He held two showcase events at the team’s complex in the Dominican Republic late last month, according to Ben Badler. Abreu was recently declared a free agent is now able to negotiate and sign with any team.

Badler recently described the 26-year-old Abreu as “an intelligent hitter without a lot of effort in in his swing and the power to hit 30-plus homers in a season … (though) some scouts consider his bat speed only fair.” He has an unorthodox double toe-tap and, like many Cuban hitters, is prone to breaking balls off the plate. Abreu is a big dude — listed at 6-foot-2 and 258 lbs. — with crazy numbers in Cuba, including a .382/.525/.735 line this year and .394/.542/.837 last year. The report says Abreu is expected to sign a deal in the Yoenis Cespedes ($36M) to Yasiel Puig ($42M) range.

  • tmoney

    Lets see, young, not too expensive, right handed power, insane numbers in Cuba……Exactly the type of player the Yankees should go after but probably wont.

    • jjyank

      That’s actually kind of expensive for an unproven commodity that can really only DH and occasionally play 1B.

      But yes, let’s all complain if the Yankees don’t sign him.

      In fairness, I’m intrigued. I’m glad they’re scouting him. But there are certainly enough red flags here to pass on him without busting out the pitch forks and torches.

      • OldYanksFan

        I won’t complain. While there are aspects here that sound tasty, I don’t think the Yankees need to rebuild using one dimensional players.

        We are also assuming that ARod WON’T be back to clog up the DH spot. I think he gets 125 games or less, and will indeed play in 2014.

        Furthermore, the downfall of many ‘could be good’ players is the inability to see, judge and hit curveballs. There are and have been a number of mashers in AAA who feasted on FBs but were a bust in MLB because they couldn’t see/hit pitches with movement.

        Bonds was a great hitter not because of his HR power, but because he never got fooled. Always picked a good pitch to hit. Took plenty of walks. The idea of yet another Yankee (Reynolds, Sori, Grandy, others) flailing at outside CBs/sliders scares the shit out of me.

        Many think our problems this year was the lack of power, but I think it was our lack of OBP (.307!, 12th of 15 in the AL). Call me a Beanehead, but I prefer guys who get on base/don’t make outs.

  • Derbs

    I think the Yankees need to sign a bat like this. Our offense is looking grim going into 2014 and after watching Puig flourish I think they should take a chance with this.

    • Mark in VT

      Where would they put him? 1B and DH are taken for awhile. Unless they somehow pull at Boston-dodgers. Plus if the Yanks are going to get MCann as their temporary C, he’ll need that DH spot in two- three years.

      • tmoney

        Plays 3b as well. And you know how things seem to work out with injuries. I would bet it wouldn’t be hard to find him 500 ab between 1b 3b and dh.

        • Bo Knows

          to quote people on baseball America when he did his showcase “The only thing he proved taking balls at third was that he can’t play the position”

          • Preston

            Even people who think he can play there say that he could “probably” play as well as Miggy at 3b. Not exactly a ringing endorsement.

      • Derbs

        So he plays DH for a few years and then moves to 1B when Tex’s contract is up.

        • D$1184

          And what do we do this year with Tex, Jeter (DH) and him? Somebody’s sitting, most days–somebody who is not the type to like to sit.

          • tmoney

            Lyle Overbay and Eduardo Nunez say hi.

            • D$1184

              The odds are against Teixiera suffering a wrist injury similar to this year.

              • tmoney

                The odds were against it last year too. Wrist injuries can be very tricky.

                • The Big City of Dreams

                  And he’s been banged up the last couple of seasons anyway.

          • NYPLATOONS

            ahh it’s thinking like this why the Yankees can’t move forward and get ready for the future. Keep that Dh spot open for their cripples and oldies instead of saying bye bye is what kills this team from going forward.

            • D$1184

              Because the method of signing players who excelled in other leagues but have never faced a major league pitch has never bitten them in the butt? Hideki Irabu, Jose Contreras and Kei Igawa all say hi.

    • jjyank

      What in the world do Abreu and Puig have to do with each other besides being born in the same country?

      • tmoney

        absolutely nothing. Puig is a true athelete offensively and defensively but you could easily compare Abreu with Cespedes in hes all bat and Abreu put up significanty better offensive numbers in Cuba.

        • Preston

          You realize that Cespedes is a league average defender in the corners who can play CF if needed and Abreu is an unathletic 260 pound guy who is probably just going to DH, right? Suffice it to say Abreu didn’t make a show case video with 45 inch box jumps http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kREZHmOR1bg.

          • tmoney

            He grades out less than league average in left and Abreu played CF just 3 years ago in Cuba. They are both all bat and no glove albeit Cespedes probably has the better glove and Abreu the better bat.

            • Preston

              He better have the better bat, first basemen who post a wRC+ of 102 don’t stick in the big leagues very long.

      • Derbs

        I was comparing them just based on international free agents that are being praised before being signed.

        • jjyank

          Fair enough, but saying that “after watching Puig flourish” is absolutely no reason to take a chance on Abreu.

          If they sign Abreu, it better be because they believe he can be an above average MLB talent, not because Puig is good.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      I think they should do their due diligence. I understand the appeal of young international guys and what appears to be a smaller price tag if all things were to work out.

      Yasiel Puig being good at baseball, however, has nothing to do with his chances at success.

      • bkight13

        It’s not just Puig and you know that. It’s Puig, Cespedes, Chapman, Darvish, Ryu and others. NY needs to get some of these guys.

        • Need Pitching & Hitting

          Sure.
          But missing out on those guys doesn’t mean they absolutely need to get the next guy to come along that vaguely fits the same description.
          He’s not exactly the greatest fit for their current needs or current trajectory.
          They need to basically completely rebuild the team going forward. Better to do that with a focus on premium positions and premium roles than by trying to rebuild around an unproven DH.

          • bkight13

            How is he not a fit? Teix isn’t getting healthier. Didn’t we have Vernon Wells at 1B this year?

            • Need Pitching & Hitting

              I said not the greatest fit.
              Arod could still be back at some point.
              Tex is under contract for 3 more years.
              Jeter may not be able to sufficiently field a position.
              DH is probably the easiest position to fill.

              He would be a much better fit if he could: Pitch, Catch, play 3B (realistically), play SS, play RF, play 2B (if Cano doesn’t resign).

              They could definitely use him. But, imo, they have a lot bigger holes they need to address before DH/BU1B. And they aren’t likely to address them all this offseason, so I’d rather they prioritize more premium positions than DH.
              They’re at the very beginning of a much needed rebuild. It seems like a 26 year old DH would be a better fit for a team nearing the end of the rebuilding process.

        • Robinson Tilapia

          Missing out on these players, and not doing their due diligence, are two completely different things.

          The New York Yankees have never been in possession of some sort of tractor beam that attracts players to them, and away from other teams, many of which have massively overpaid in relation to what was known about a player at the time.

          I believe this is the 345,345th time this has been said on here.

  • Shittyshittybangbang

    Sounds intriguing, but where would he play/fit ? Full time DH/part time 1st base ? A lot of money for an unproven “full time” DH. And the guy is still relatively young. A team who needs a full time 1st baseman is prone to sign him, though I wouldn’t complain if NY signed him (especially if they lose Cano). What about the other Cuban FA, Alexander Guererro ? Also intriguing, and he’s a shortstop.

  • mike myers

    Yankees Pre-George S

    “The Yankees are among several clubs scouting Cuban slugger Jose Abreu during his workouts in the Dominican Republic -THEN THEY SIGN HIM”

    Yankees Post-George S

    “The Yankees are among several clubs scouting Cuban slugger Jose Abreu during his workouts in the Dominican Republic – THEN THEY PUT IN A TINY BID AND SOMEONE ELSE SIGNS THEM”

    about right?

    • tmoney

      Pre-George S

      The CBS years?

      • Electric Nunez ll

        Haha, beat me to it. Paging Michael Burke…

        • JohnnyC

          Michael Burke was quite a character. OSS, CIA, Ringling Bros Circus, CBS Europe, the Yankees, Madison Square Garden. Amazing life.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        Replace “Jose Abreu” with “Minnie Minoso.”

    • BFDeal

      You don’t put a bid in on free agents.

  • Mick taylor

    All this crap the last3 years about saving dh spot for jeter and arod cost yanks players like Napoli, Beltran.the yanks need power hitting. If this guy hits30 hrs then jeter can sit on thebench when not playing ss.

    • tmoney

      They should have no problem finding at bats for him if he can hit. A scout recently said defensively he can handle 3b as well as Cabrera and to me that is a passable replacement if he can hit.

      • jjyank

        From Baseball America:

        “Scouts consider Abreu a surefire first baseman, but he did take ground balls at third base. It makes sense in a tryout so that scouts can get a better feel for his arm strength (it’s average), and for his agents to perhaps try to convince a team that he might be able to play third base in a Miguel Cabrera, avert your eyes type of way. Trainers do the same thing with their 16-year-old Dominican infielders, putting them at shortstop even if there’s no chance they can stay there.

        ‘I don’t know what it was to show,” said one scout. “To me, it just showed he couldn’t play third base.’”

        http://www.baseballamerica.com.....showcases/

        Not sure where you’re getting that.

        • tmoney

          from mlbtraderumors

          Miami has Logan Morrison as its first baseman right now and could retain him even if they sign Abreu if they believe Abreu can be adequate at third base. Frisaro notes that some believe he could play third base at the same level as Miguel Cabrera, which isn’t exactly a glowing endorsement of his defense but could be passable if he can meet expectations with the bat.

          • jjyank

            Meh. I clicked the links in the MLBTR article, and it sounds like third base is much more of a stretch than the MLBTR piece made it out to be.

            I highly doubt he’d be a passable third baseman based on everything I’ve read.

            • Tom

              “I highly doubt he’d be a passable third baseman based on everything I’ve read”

              Outside of the BA quote can you link some of the “everything” that you read?

              I’m interested because there doesn’t seem to be much out there and it seems like you’ve come across a bunch of stuff which could be interesting to read.

    • BFDeal

      You would have been the first one complaining had the Yankees signed Napoli and his two rotting hips last winter.

    • Kenny

      That’s a useful reminder. All the “where’s-he-gonna-play” questions are certainly important. As are the equally valid–maybe more–reminders that this is how old teams STAY old. Let Jeter’s rest days be on the bench.

      Everything contingent on whether Abreu actually has the kind of valid MLB bat we’ve been hearing he has.

      • Need Pitching & Hitting

        Old teams stay old just by not signing unproven DH’s just because they are young?
        They can get young at just about every other position first. DH is typically an old guy position, even on teams that aren’t old overall.

        Let Jeter’s rest days be on the bench

        That would be fine if he’s still a viable SS.
        Not sure he’s still a viable SS.
        What’s worse: trotting an incapable overall Jeter (if he is incapable) out to SS, or having him DH?
        Neither is ideal, but he could potentially cause a lot more damage at SS.
        I’d rather get a real SS than a real DH. They could add a legit OF bat as well (maybe somebody like Beltran) who could also take some of the DH ab’s, when Ichiro plays.

    • Get Phelps Up

      I thought choke king Swisher cost the Yankees Beltran.

  • JGYank

    Glad they are scouting him but I don’t see how he fits in unless we change his position. Tex is our 1st baseman, and we need other guys to have days off and dh.

  • bill

    The Yankees are just going through the motions to show the fan base that they weant to win when the bottom line is that they dont compete any more when the bidding starts.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Sort of like you going through the motions in order to pretend you’re a fan?

  • CashmanNinja

    I really don’t like Abreu. I’ve said it before, but I just don’t feel he’s worth the price. He’s a 1B/DH type player. I feel he’ll be like Adam Dunn and easily be exploited by offspeed stuff. Sure the power will be there, but I think his average will be really low. He could be a 30 HR guy, but is that *really* worth $40 mil if he only hits like .250? I just do not feel that he’s worth the price tag. I’d rather spend that money on a bid for Tanaka.

    • tmoney

      Why do you feel he will be like Adam Dunn? His number in Cuba are better than Cespedes and Puig.

      • Cool Lester Smooth

        Adam Dunn would have put up much better numbers than that in Cuba at age 26. Cuba is Hi-A.

        • tmoney

          Im not sure Dunn could put up those numbers in High A now.

        • tmoney

          .382/.525/.735

          • Cool Lester Smooth

            He put up .266/.388/.569 in the MLB at age 24. The Equivalency to the Carolina League (the only neutral run environment in Hi-A) would be .378/.534/.895

      • CashmanNinja

        Because the level of competition is nothing like the major leagues. They may have some good players, but it isn’t consistent. It’s like Japan. There are always good players that will come from there, but there will also be players with inflated stats because of the level of competition. They don’t constantly face a Justin Verlander, Clayton Kershaw, Max Scherzer, Yu Darvish, Felix Hernandez, David Price, Chris Sale, etc, etc, etc. Again, it’s not saying there aren’t good players there, but overall it isn’t the major leagues. Abreu just seems like the kind of player who is all power, hit-or-miss, and most of the time those types of hitters are pure fastball hitters. They’re mashers because they hit mistakes well. They don’t hit good off-speed pitches. A lot of the times they face throwers, not pitchers. Abreu is a big guy in the mold of Adam Dunn. I just do not think he warrants a $40+ million contract when we have more important positions to fill up. We have Tex at 1st. We’ll need the DH spot for older guys. And Abreu is too big/slow for the OF or 3rd. We don’t have room and I’d rather the Yankees spend their freed up cash on signing our 2nd baseman, trying to get some outfield help, and actually getting us a rotation which we currently do not have. Tanaka is the better risk because he actually fills a need.

  • Need Pitching & Hitting

    Seems to me that the Yankees have much bigger priorities than long-term DH this offseason (#1 starter, #2 starter, C, SS, 2B, 3B, RF, etc).
    Yes they need offense.
    Yes they need to get younger.
    Yes they could probably find plenty of AB’s for Abreu (depending somewhat on how the ARod situation is resolved).

    But they have several holes to fill. They need long term solutions at almost every position. Abreu isn’t going to put the Yankees over the top into the next championship run. I’m not sure trying to rebuild around a likely DH makes a whole lot of sense.
    Frankly I’d rather they spent the money they’d spend on Abreu to blow away the IFA and/or draft restrictions next season and try to infuse the system with a lot of young talent.

    I could see making a big investment for someone who could fill a premium position for years to come.
    For a guy most likely to be primarily a DH, I just don’t see it being worth the risk.

    • Mike Myers

      yea, the big difference is….

      the old yankees would get Jose and fill those positions. Now they will fill half of them with out Jose.

      • Need Pitching & Hitting

        The old Yankees (I’m assuming you mean mid 90′s through a few years ago) never had this many gaping long term holes to fill at the same time.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        Which old Yankees are you referring to? Please enlighten us.

    • Thurdonpaul

      + 1

    • jjyank

      Completely agree. It seems like Abreu is going to be an expensive, unproven 1B/DH. The Yanks could probably find better uses of that money.

      I love it when the Yankees sign some promising young guy with big upside. But as you say, there are too many other holes. If the Yankees had Martin behind the plate, a suspensionless A-Rod at third, Swisher in RF, a still-an-ace Sabathia, and Kuroda was coming back and/or Andy didn’t retire…sure, I’d go for Abreu to play the role Travis Hafner was supposed to play in 2013. But those things are all either impossible or unlikely. I think it makes more sense to spread the money around the FA pool, pay the penalty on going over for other IFA’s.

    • hey now

      Priority #1: A real catcher. Please God, a real catcher.

      • Betty Lizard

        In the name of all that’s holy–oh hell, in the name of Satan and his minions–may we please get a real catcher?

        I promise I’ll be good. Or bad. Whatever it takes.

    • bkight13

      Re-sign Cano, Ryan for SS, Jeter plays 3b(if he plays), sign McCann and Abreu.

      Sign Garza or Tanaka or both and hope Phelps, Warren and Pineda can get it done.

      That still gets under 189m.

      • Need Pitching & Hitting

        Not sure why you’d want Jeter at 3B, and they’ve said it’s not happening anyways. And if he doesn’t play, they still need a 3B.
        The rotation still looks weak, especially with only one of the 2 starters (probably can’t fit them both and all the others under $189M). No starting RF. A backup SS as starting SS. Still many holes in the bullpen.
        It’s the same half-in, half-baked crap they’ve been doing, just with more long-term commitments.
        Good enough to stay close. Likely not good enough to get to the playoffs.

        • bkight13

          The 189m plan ruins a true rebuild. Working with those parameters means mediocre baseball for a couple years. Blowing up the 189m plan is my first choice, but it doesn’t look like is gonna happen.

          If Jeter insists on coming back and playing SS, we are pretty screwed anyways. Moving to 3B would at least fill one hole. They would still have Nunez to split with Ryan and Wells/Ichiro/Almonte/Minor Leaguer will have to platoon RF.

          CC/Garza/Nova/Phelps-Warren-Pineda is the best I can come up with at.

          • Need Pitching & Hitting

            I think Abreu could make sense if they blow up the $189M plan, because they could at least theoretically fill enough holes to be worth going all out to win.
            If they’re locked into mediocrity for the next couple of years or so anyways, I’d rather they’d spend the money they might otherwise spend on Abreu (basically a prospect, albeit a very advanced one), on multiple draft/IFA targets. They need to get young talent at many positions.
            Abreu might be just a wrong side of 30 DH by the time the Yankees are ready to make a serious, multi-year championship run again.

            • bkight13

              If you are going that way then you let Cano walk, pass on McCann, let Grandy go and don’t sign any FA pitcher this year. Wait for ARod, Jeter, Tex and CC to leave and find new ways to waste 189m in 2016 or so.

              I would rather at least try to contend for a couple years. Signing an Abreu, Garza or McCann wouldn’t cripple a real re-build in a few years. Teams are locking up their young stars, the draft has been leveled out and there is even a cap on International players now. Our farm isn’t very deep up top, so in house help isn’t on the way.

  • Dicka24

    I’d rather they overbid on Tanaka.

    • BFDeal

      The bid on Tanaka is not subject to luxury tax, so overbidding isn’t necessarily related to signing this kid.

  • http://www.draftstreet.com/register.aspx?r=Jedile Jedile

    Though the real question is Can he pitch?

  • Nathan

    Based off recent history, the Yankees won’t sign him. They’ve shown lots of “interest” and scouted a lot of international players recently but have not signed any.

  • bkight13

    6m or 7m is NOT a lot of money today. It’s what Ichiro is making and only a little more than what Logan might get for 39IPs. I think 30 HRs alone is worth around 12m. The idea of keeping the DH spot open for aging, injured bats is a waste. If Jeter can’t field, he needs to sit and rest. The DH spot should be about offense.

    Yankees need youth, power, RH bat. They need Abreu.

    • BFDeal

      They only need him if he is good. Not every player from Cuber is Puig.

      • bkight13

        He was dominating in Cuba. Not exactly a Parks and Rec League.

        It’s only money, no wasted draft picks or prospects.

        • CashmanNinja

          Yet Japan has done well in the WBC and has had lots of players come over to the U.S. and have good careers as well. But people here whine and cry about risk when it comes to a Japanese pitcher that won’t count nearly as much against the payroll as a Cuban defector who fills a position that is already filled.

  • CONservative governMENt

    If they think his bat is for real, don’t worry about keeping the DH spot open or Teixeira, etc.

    And Puig, Cespedes and the other recent Cubans do offer some context for Abreu in terms of narrowing the error bars on his expected performance. Tanaka is not a ‘complete unknown’ because of Darvish, Kuroda, Matsuzaka, Igawa, etc.

  • 189 is a mandate

    no way the yankees sign him, we are on a budget…..189

  • http://twitter.com/IsaacforPrez Isaac

    Here’s one Crazy-ass idea. Remember Girardi once said Teixeira was the emergency third baseman? Move Tex to third, Abreu at first, and hope Rodriguez is banned for life, in order to cover the cost

    • CashmanNinja

      Keyword: Emergency. That would be like if the 3rd baseman got hurt during a game then Tex would be next in the pecking order. He isn’t a 3rd baseman though. Just like Mark Reynolds really wasn’t one.

  • 189 is a mandate

    the only part of that thought that is correct is the crazy part

  • qwerty

    Let some other team like get the next Puig, we got Mark Teixeira.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/roadgeek/ Roadgeek Adam

    While I agree the Yankees should look into an international free agent, let’s not jump on to the bandwagon of the next big name.

    We don’t want more busts, and at some point, someone is going to bust of the current group and if you ask me, Yasiel Puig is a big possibility.

  • OldYanksFan

    The comparisons to Cespedes, a true athlete, are unfounded. However, while Cespedes is a very nice player, he ain’t golden. In his first year when there was no book on him, he was worth 3.7 WAR… well above average. This year, he had a 1.7 WAR… a shade BELOW average.

    As he becomes more know to AL pitchers, who knows where he will rate. So let’s not make this guy out to be a great player.