Ever since Cuban phenom prospect Jose Dariel Abreu escaped Cuba, we here at Fish Stripes have tracked the potential connection between him and the Miami Marlins. Here at Fish Stripes, I have made my stance clear regarding Abreu: the Fish should chase the superstar at a potential discount cost, even considering the downside potential in the move. At the same time, the Marlins have been on record as being "not smitten" on Abreu.
The Marlins may not be "smitten," but they are interested enough to be among the contingent of teams scouting Abreu this weekend in the Domincan Republic, according to Joe Frisaro of MLB.com.
Marlins evaluators have been in the Dominican Republic all weekend, and Abreu has been doing private workouts for clubs.
There is certainly a growing market for Abreu, and the question is whether the Marlins can win the sweepstakes for his services, since he likely will command at least $50 million.
There is a possibility, the article says, that the Marlins were also checking out other players on display in an international talent showcase. However, given the buzz surrounding Abreu and the coincidental timing of the Fish's presence, there is a good chance that the team at least took a look at Abreu.
There is still quite a number of borders to be passed before the Marlins make a move towards someone like Abreu. The team certainly is not as enamored with him as they were with Yoenis Cespedes when he was a free agent. It is hard to say why, given Abreu's crazy numbers in the minors, but it may have to do with his lack of athleticism relative to Cespedes and other raw Cuban prospects of recent times. Abreu is a defensive liability and the Marlins may not like that combined with his age (he is a year and a half older than Cespedes was when he arrived).
The Fish also have Logan Morrison entering his first season of arbitration, and money may be a hindrance to this deal. The Marlins failed to match the Oakland Athletics for Cespedes's services two years ago, and Abreu may be a hotter target this year. The Fish may have to cough up a pretty penny to get their hands on him.
But the Marlins appear to have interest, even if it is passing. The team definitely needs an infusion of talent into its Major League system, and with only Mark Canha in the minors, the club has few upgrade options beyond Morrison. The Fish would be wise to continue to investigate Abreu as the offseason approaches.
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