Jose Abreu's defection is good news for every baseball fan who isn't in Cuba

Koji Watanabe

The St. Louis Cardinals have no need for Jose Abreu, but he'll still make it more fun to be a baseball fan.

It is impossible for news to be less relevant to a team than Jose Abreu’s defection is to the St. Louis Cardinals. I admit that up front. But: Jose Abreu is defecting! That’s the Jose Abreu who put up completely ridiculous numbers in Cuba’s professional baseball league, thereby providing the kind of context that allowed us to determine that shortstop defector (band name) Aledmys Diaz was not the best hitter on earth.

The Cardinals, alas, already have a huge first baseman who doesn’t play enough. (And Aledmys Diaz, alas, has been punished for giving Major League Baseball a false age. That is, he’s younger than he said he was, which is good, but now he can’t sign until next February, which is not great.)

But if you’re a baseball fan, this is worth being excited about: The guy who outhit all those other Cuban sensations is going to play major league baseball. My only hope is that whichever team signs him is in a small-enough market that we don’t have to deal with the inevitable hype overload and unnecessary backlash that would come with, say, Jose Abreu, New York Yankee. (Or Jose Abreu, New York Met, with all apologies to our friends at Amazin’ Avenue. I’d be up for, say, Jose Abreu, Houston Astro, which has the added bonus of being unexpectedly euphonious.

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