Marlins rumors: Miami among clubs scouting Cuban slugger Jose Abreu

Koji Watanabe

Miami could try adding another Cuban star this winter to complement young phenom Jose Fernandez.

Miami Marlins general manager Dan Jennings was among several scouts and club officials recently in the Dominican Republic to watch Cuban slugger Jose Abreu, reports Peter Gammons of MLB Network.

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Abreu, 26, was officially declared a free agent on Saturday. The power-hitting first baseman, who defected in August, hit .382/.535/.735 with 13 home runs over 42 games in the shortened 2012-2013 Serie Nacional season, his last in Cuba. He also hit three home runs in 25 at-bats during the World Baseball Classic in March.

One club official told Gammons that Abreu will net "at least $50 million" on the open market this winter -- which would be a record -- and that a number of teams could end up making offers in that range. The Giants, Rangers, Red Sox, Mets and Pirates have all been tied to the lumbering slugger alongside the Marlins.

Miami isn't exactly known for their free-spending ways -- 2011 being the outlier -- but Gammons believes that the move, if they're willing to fork over the necessary money, "makes sense" for the club. The Marlins have just $3.2 million tied up in guaranteed payroll for 2014, according to Baseball Prospectus, so it's not as though the club is without available funds to sign Abreu.

Another official said that with Abreu at the top of the order complementing Giancarlo Stanton, Christian Yelich and Colin Moran, that the Marlins could be "serious contenders" in two years' time.

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