Jose Abreu Newsbeat
Monday, November 10, 2014
The Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year Awards were announced on Monday, with White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu the unanimous selection in the American League and Mets right-hander Jacob deGrom taking home the honor in the NL.
Sunday, November 09, 2014
In September, toward the end of the season, Abreu declined to discuss his defection, telling the Tribune in Spanish: “I think it’s best not to talk on that subject. Someday, God willing, if we’re in the position to, I’ll be able to talk about that with all my heart.”
But he spoke without hesitation that living in the U.S. was worth the journey, however frightening it might have been.
“For me, it’s the fact we’re free. That we’re free in everything,” he said. “In Cuba, people don’t attain that. I’m thankful for my life, but it’s something I’ve never experienced, and I’m thankful for everything.”
Posted: November 09, 2014 at 07:12 AM | 5 comment(s)
cuban free agents
Thursday, October 16, 2014
Speaking of batted ball distribution, his fly ball rate was just 31.2%. That’s quite low for a monstrous power hitter. So the bad news is that I would project that to rise next year, which is going to take another bite out of his BABIP, all else being equal. The good news is that there’s your home run upside. Yes, even though he hit 36 homers this season, his relatively low fly ball rate suggests that a 40+ homer season is easily within his grasp.
Monday, July 14, 2014
Mr. Burns, I think we can trust the President of Cuba.
Eventually, the players who leave the island establish residency in another country and are declared free agents. Workouts are scheduled, sometimes attracting 200 scouts and executives if the player is a big enough star.
Sometimes, a player may work out for a specific team, as Abreu did for the Reds when they wanted to see if he could play third base or left field (he couldn’t, at least not to their satisfaction, and with Joey Votto set at first base, they reluctantly dropped out of the bidding).
Eventually, a player signs pending a physical exam, which can be something of an adventure in itself. The Dodgers had to have someone drive Puig 1.5 hours across Mexico City to find an MRI machine. When the Reds recently signed pitcher Raisel Iglesias, scheduling the physical was almost a bigger obstacle than negotiating the contract.
“We were working on a tight deadline, and the kid couldn’t get a visa yet to come to the Dominican Republic or the U.S.,” Reds general manager Walt Jocketty explained. “We finally brought a doctor from the Dominican, and a Spanish-speaking doctor we work with in Cincinnati, to see the kid in Haiti. But then they had to find an MRI machine in Haiti.”
It all got done, and now the Reds will hope Iglesias does as well for them as Chapman has. He was nearly as expensive, costing the Reds $27 million for a seven-year contract, even though he wasn’t as highly touted as Chapman (who got $30.25 million for six years in January 2010).
The prices keep going up, which only makes the decisions tougher.
“The gut feel has to be there,” said Don Welke, a top Rangers scout who has been to many Cuban showcases and was involved in the signing of outfielder Leonys Martin. “It’s huge risk, huge reward. As it’s turned out recently, whoever has taken the risk has gotten the reward.
“But some scout had to stick his neck out for every one of these guys. And you’d better darn well be right, because your owner is asking you why you want to spend so much on a guy you only saw in two workouts.”
Posted: July 14, 2014 at 03:17 PM | 3 comment(s)
for his generous support.
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