Mike Napoli said Thursday that he’d like to return to the Red Sox in 2014. While that remains a definite possibility, it appears that the Red Sox are also doing their due diligence on another power-hitting first baseman.
The Red Sox are among the teams scouting Cuban first baseman Jose Abreu in the Dominican Republic, according to Dionisio Soldevila of ESPNDeportes.com. The Red Sox reportedly held a tryout for Abreu on Thursday.
This isn’t the first time that the Red Sox have been linked to Abreu, who recently defected from Cuba. The Boston Globe’s Peter Abraham reported last month that Boston is “certainly interested” in Abreu, and Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington later admitted that the organization would do its homework on the 26-year-old slugger.
“I can’t give you much of a scouting report,” Cherington said in August. “We just don’t know him well enough yet. And of course until he’s gone through the process of getting cleared and all that, there’s really not much to say. As with any player that comes out of Cuba and has a chance to help us, we’ll certainly do the work that we need to do. In a few months, I may be able to answer that question better. But the numbers in Cuba certainly were impressive.”
Abreu, who is considered one of Cuba’s best hitters, hit .382 with 13 home runs and a 1.270 OPS in 42 games this season after hitting .394 with 35 homers and a 1.379 OPS in 71 games last season.
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