We had Pittsburgh Pirates General Manager and Senior Vice President on the RumBunter podcast today. One of the many conversations was the first base position and the possibility of acquiring Jose Abreu.
Huntington didn’t sound overly optimistic that the Bucs were going to be in the running. And with the news that Abreu is finalizing a deal with White Sox in the $70 million dollar range, it all makes sense. The podcast is being finalized by Cocktails but you will hear Huntington describe a player that – in our mind – fits best in the American League.
The defense is something that sounds like a concern for the Pirates. We asked the Bucs GM if he felt that Abreu could hit big league pitching. The bat is going to play, Huntington said, and apparently the White Sox feel the same way. Huntington described Abreu differently than Yasiel Puig or Yoenis Cespedes. Players that can beat you with their defense, as well as their offense.
Despite not having all the tools, Abreu is still a big time player and if he signs for nearly $70 million it will be the biggest ever first time contract for an international player. Puig got seven years, $42 million while Cespedes inked a four year $36 million dollar deal to pound breakfast cereal and huff Marlboros.
If Abreu were more of a complete player, a total package, it would be understandable for the Pirates to pursue the Cuban superstar. A player that signs for a nearly $70 million dollars must be a plus defender, plus fielder, plus arm, plus bat…you get the point.
Unless you’re a club like the Sox that needs to take a high-risk, high-reward sign like Abreu. We say if the Bucs are going to invest more cash than they paid Andrew McCutchen, the player needs to be a complete package, not one with question marks. Have fun in Chicago, big fella.