By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor
A potential future star now has a place for his MLB debut — in 2014 Bowman.
The Chicago White Sox grabbed international free agent Jose Abreu over the weekend, agreeing to sign the Cuban star to a reported six-year deal worth nearly $70 million — a mark that’s more than what recent Cuban stars Yoenis Cespedes and Yasiel Puig received. When and where he makes his major league debut may not be known yet, but his first appearance on officially licensed MLB cardboard is.
Topps announced Monday that he’ll make his debut in an MLB uniform in 2014 Bowman. Also part of the company’s announcement? Those cards will arrive signed.
Topps isn’t the only company to sign a deal with Abreu. Panini America previously announced that Abreu will appear in its upcoming 2013 Prizm Perennial Draft Picks product that is scheduled to arrive next month. Those cards are approved by the MLBPA, but do not carry the Major League Baseball trademarks. Leaf Trading Cards included a redemption card for a non-Metal autograph card for the 6-foot-3, 225-pound slugger in its recently released 2013 Leaf Metal Draft product.
Of course, the only previous baseball cards of Abreu are from 2013 Topps Tribute World Baseball Classic Edition — a $60 base card found in the high-end product that also has a Gold (/25) and a Red (/5) parallel.
Abreu, 26, hit .397 with 37 home runs in 92 games during the 2011-12 season.
Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Baseball and Beckett Sports Card Monthly magazines. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an email to him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.