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Thursday, September 12, 2013
Are Giants pursuing next Cuban superstar?

By Mark Saxon

LOS ANGELES -- Giants general manager Brian Sabean and former manager Felipe Alou have been spotted in the Dominican Republic scouting Cuban first baseman Jose Abreu, according to Dionisio Soldevila of ESPNDeportes.

There has been speculation that Abreu could command a contract even greater than the seven-year, $42 million deal the Dodgers gave Yasiel Puig in June 2012.

Abreu, 26, batted .453 in Cuba's highest league, Serie Nacional, between 2010-11. He hit .360 in six games of the World Baseball Classic in March.

Grantland's Jonah Keri wrote last year that Abreu, "just might be the best hitter in the world."

Veteran Dodgers scout Mike Brito has seen Abreu on several occasions, including in tournaments in Nicaragua and Cuba.

"He's a good hitter, good power, below-average runner," Brito said. "We don't need a first baseman here. We have one of the best in the game."

Meanwhile, here are lineups for Thursday's game, with the Dodgers trying to take another game off their magic number, which stands at six. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said that, for the most part, he will play his regulars this weekend, though he is trying to convince Adrian Gonzalez to take a day off:

San Francisco
1. Angel Pagan CF
2. Marco Scutaro 2B
3. Brandon Belt 1B
4. Buster Posey C
5. Hunter Pence RF
6. Pablo Sandoval 3B
7. Brandon Crawford SS
8. Gregor Blanco LF
9. Matt Cain RHP

Dodgers
1. Yasiel Puig RF
2. Carl Crawford LF
3. Hanley Ramirez SS
4. Adrian Gonzalez 1B
5. Andre Ethier CF
6. Juan Uribe 3B
7. A.J. Ellis C
8. Mark Ellis 2B
9. Zack Greinke RHP