The biggest shining light on an otherwise miserable Marlins season was the fantastic performance of Rookie of the Year hopeful Jose Fernandez. More awe-inspiring than his terrific rookie campaign was the touching story that brought the 15 year old Cuban to the United States. As the Marlins enter the 2013-14 offseason, one of the more interesting storylines might continue to revolve around Cuban defects. While the 21 year old Fernandez amazed the baseball world with his magical pitching performance, 26 year old Jose Dariel Abreu is on the verge of making his own waves during the winter.
As I mentioned in a prior post where I looked into the free agency class, I showcased the clear lack of depth at the 1st base position. While the addition of Abreu would clearly exceed Miami's limited budget, the immediate impact that he could bring will make the Marlins front-office exceed that limit. Perhaps the pessimist would think that this report would be a simple PR move to intrigue disgruntled fans but this would just be a required move if the Marlins are serious about improving their horrendous offense.
The potential addition of Abreu would make the 1st base position more intriguing because of the possible question marks that would surround the incumbent Logan Morrison. Since a stellar 2011 season, Morrison has struggled mightily to either remain healthy (averaged 89 games in the past two seasons) or retain that powerful stroke that pushed his slugging percentage to .470. In those past two seasons, Morrison's WAR (-0.7 in 2013) has shown that Morrison has become even worse than your average replacement level player which basically means that he's become a hinderance to the Marlins.
Moving back to Abreu, his overall game has been compared to the likes of Edgar Martinez. While that comparison could seem to be a bit far fetched because of how solid Martinez was during his big league career in Seattle, it's actually somewhat reasonable when you look at the bigger picture. The real main reason why Abreu will be highly touted in the offseason is because of his Stanton-esqe ability to just launch moon shots with a simple swing. In the following piece that was posted by Jerry Crasnick on ESPN, his raw power was compared to fellow defectors like Yasiel Puig and Yoenis Cespedes. Of course, both Puig and Cespedes both share various other notable physical traits that aren't quite apparent when you look at Abreu.
Besides his A-plus power, Abreu seems to be very mediocre when you look at other various necessary baseball traits (i.e speed on the basepaths, throwing arm or defensive ability). But this Marlins team is in such a need for another offensive weapon that it should look away from his inabilities because of how great of a power bat that he could bring to the team. While Giancarlo Stanton's future in Miami is still relatively in question, the potential combination of Abreu and Stanton could pay huge dividends for the future of the Marlins lineup.
But all of this discussion is currently a bunch of hearsay because of the relative uncertainty that arises when you deal with a team that's ran by Jeffrey Loria. Could the move help the team? Absolutely. Will the Marlins be willing to pay the money that would be necessary to sign Abreu? We're about to find out.