The White Sox have agreed to a 6-year, $US68 million contract with Cuban defector Jose Abreu (
via ESPN.com). The deal is a record for a first-year player in Major League Baseball.
The White Sox huge investment in the slugging first baseman could be a reaction to the success of other recent Cuban defectors, Yasiel Puig and Yoenis Cespedes. Puig signed a 7-year, $US42 million contract with the Dodgers that was criticised by many. Cespedes signed a 4-year deal with the A’s worth $US38 million.
While Abreu is considered by some the better hitter, the White Sox are taking a big gamble on the soon-to-be 27-year-old. Cespedes was 26 during his rookie year and Puig was just 22.
While the $US68 million is a record for a player, it is not the most invested by a team in an international free agent. In 2012, the Rangers gave Yu Darvish a 6-year, $US56 million contract which came after a $US51.7 million posting fee the Rangers paid to Nippon Ham Fighters for the exclusive negotiating rights.
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