Cuba’s Jose Abreu takes steps toward free agency; Showcase on horizon

Cuban slugger Jose Abreu appears to be making progress in his journey to the Major Leagues.

Abreu has established residency in Haiti – the first step to becoming a free agent – and has been unblocked by the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), according to an industry source. He has also petitioned for free agency from Major League Baseball and will be eligible to sign with a big league club when he is declared a free agent.

A showcase for Abreu, 26, is tentatively scheduled for the end of the month but there’s a chance he won’t sign until sometime this winter, possibly as late as the Winter Meetings in December, the source said. According to reports, the Giants and Red Sox are among several teams that have already expressed interest.

A known commodity on the international scene, the 6-foot-3, 250-pound slugger hit .360 (9-for-25) with three home runs and nine RBIs in six games in this year’s World Baseball Classic. He’s a former MVP in Cuba, where he had one of the best seasons in league history in 2010-11, hitting .453 with 33 home runs and 93 RBIs in just 66 games.

Abreu is represented by agents Barry Praver, Scott Shapiro and Bart Hernandez.


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