As Baseball America first reported, Jose Abreu, the premier offensive player in Cuba, has defected with the goal of trying to sign a contract to play baseball with a major league team.
Abreu, 26, would hit the market as a free agent and according to Baseball America, will be able to sign as a free agent “exempt from the international signing bonus pools.”
In other words, this power-hitting first baseman has a very lucrative longterm deal coming his way that may eclipse other Cuban defectors before him and greatly so. The bidding for Abreu will not be for the faint of heart.
For now, he’ll be busy establishing legal residency somewhere. He’s reportedly in Haiti for now, but some have speculated the Dominican Republic is where he’ll take up residency. It’s a process that could take 2-3 months which will likely make him the crown jewel of the Hot Stove season. But never mind all that, lets get to the meat and potatoes.
Here is some background from him straight from Baseball America: