Following a two day workout for interested teams in the Dominican Republic, word has it that the Miami Marlins are expected to be “all in” on signing free agent Jose Abreu. The organization was well represented at Abreu’s showcase, according to MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro, and came away highly impressed.
Abreu is expected to start receiving bids within the next two weeks. Early estimates have suggested that he could be looking at a deal between $40-50 Million.
Miami isn’t a team expected to be active on the free agent market, but Abreu isn’t your normal free agent. At 26 he’s still young enough that his prime years would come in line with those from the Marlins’ existing crop of young stars, suggesting the timing could align perfectly for another youth-infused run at the World Series – not an unfamiliar story from these same Marlins. Much of Abreu’s appeal to Miami is the thought of the middle of their lineup consisting of him and Giancarlo Stanton. Mix in Christian Yelich, Jake Marisnick, and Jose Fernandez and that’s a solid young core to build around.
As Frisaro notes, it’s tough to gauge just how willing to spend the Marlin’s ownership really is. Jeffrey Loria doesn’t exactly have an inspiring track record to speak of.
Bringing Abreu in would potentially make sense for the Marlins off the field, perhaps more so than for any other team. Everyone’s hope is that he’ll be a replication of the success and fanfare that Yasiel Puig garnered upon his arrival in Los Angeles this past summer. He was an instant star and was seen everywhere in town. It got people talking about the Dodgers again – a Dodger team that led all of baseball in attendance. Could Abreu do for the Marlins what Puig helped (as the resurgence wasn’t just because of him) do in LA? Is that potential good will – and the added ticket sales – be enough for Loria to pry open the piggy bank one more time to make a deal?