Editor's note: This article was written a few days ago by Sam Evans and was set to come out tomorrow before news came out that Jose Abreu had signed with the White Sox. Here is the case against him for the Fish.
Twenty-six-year-old Cuban first baseman Jose Dariel Abreu is about to receive a ton of money from a team willing to do what it takes to sign him. The Marlins are very interested in bringing in Abreu and have even gone as far as to say that they'd expand their payroll to make him an offer he couldn't refuse. However, signing Abreu is simply not the smartest thing for the Marlins to do right now. Abreu is too much of a risk, there are plenty of other options on the free agent market, and Miami doesn't have enough money in their payroll to compete with other teams if this turns into a bidding war.
Signing Jose Abreu would be a huge risk for the Marlins for a variety of reasons. First of all, as an international prospect, Abreu is an unknown entity. He could turn out to be a great success like Yoenis Cespedes or he could go down the path of a player like Leonys Martin. Spending so much money on a player who has no professional baseball experience in America is obviously a huge risk for any franchise; not to mention, one struggling with attendance and payroll issues.
Another popular reason the Marlins should shy away from signing Jose Abreu is because of the pool of other talented, less expensive options. The Marlins have already had their name tied to Cuban shortstop Alexander Guerrero and I'm sure they could afford him if they stepped out of the race for Abreu. Also, Masahiro Tanaka is still a debatably the top internation free agent pitcher on the market if the Marlins wanted to look for rotation stability. There are as many international options for the Marlins to consider as one can dream of, but that's not to say there aren't plenty of current MLB free agents the Marlins could pursue with the money that they would hypothetically use to sign Abreu.
The third reason I have against Miami signing Jose Abreu is their lack of payroll flexibility. According to Joe Frisaro of MLB.com, the Marlins would have to, and are considering, expanding their payroll to sign Abreu. Abreu would definitely become the highest paid player on the Marlins roster and with that would come extremely high expectations. Also, if I were another player on the Marlins who was clearly worth more than Abreu, I'd be looking to make more money immediately. Signing Jose Abreu would put too much stress on the Marlins payroll and that's something they can't afford right now.
Jose Abreu is obviously an extremely talented prospect and one might even go as far to say a future perennial All-Star. However, it would be better for both sides if Abreu were representing a team other than the Marlins in those All-Star games. Abreu is a huge risk, especially considering he can't play anywhere other than first base; there are plenty of other options on the free agent market, and the Marlins don't have the payroll to compete with other teams in the chase to sign him.