Cuban 1B Jose Abreu declared a free agent, cleared to sign with any team

Koji Watanabe

Abreu will be one of the most intriguing bats available in free agency.

Cuban-born first baseman Jose Dariel Abreu has officially been declared a free agent by Major League Baseball and is free to sign with a team, reports's Jesse Sanchez.

Abreu is hoping to follow in the footsteps of fellow countrymen like Aroldis Chapman and Yasiel Puig as they both received big contracts to jump to MLB.

The MLB had several hurdles Abreu needed to clear before he could officially become a free agent. One of those was to establish residency in a new country, something Abreu did a month ago when he moved to Haiti. After that, there was a hefty amount of paperwork that needed to be sorted out. All those tasks have finally been completed, allowing Abreu to become one of those most intriguing free agents this upcoming offseason.

Several teams have already shown interest in signing the 26-year-old, including the Giants, Rangers, Red Sox, Marlins, Mets and Pirates. An AL team may be a more sensible destination for Abreu, with his questionable defense making him better suited to DH.

A big right-handed slugger, Abreu hit .382/.535/.735 with 13 homers over 42 games with his Serie Nacional team in Cuba in 2013, a year that was interrupted by the World Baseball Classic. During the 2011-2012 season, he mashed 35 home runs and posted a 1.379 OPS over 71 games. The year before that, he hit for an unbelieveable 1.583 OPS.

Abreu will command a big contract as teams are not required to stay within international signing limits. Reports say that he could sign a deal worth around $60 million, which would be a record for a Cuban defector.

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