AL Notes: Abreu, Carbonell, Astros, Baker

2014 looked like a rebuilding year for the White Sox, but with Jose Abreu bursting onto the scene to become a star power bat, could the Pale Hose contend this season?  GM Rick Hahn told reporters (including CSN Chicago’s Dan Hayes and MLB.com’s Scott Merkin) that “it really is a balancing act.  You don’t want to pass on a chance to win. They are sacred. At the same time, this is a long-term proposition we are trying to build here, sustain over an extended period, and we don’t want to hamper our ability to do that.”  It’s still too early in the season to make “short-sighted” moves, Hahn said, yet if the Sox are in the race in a couple of months, the team will re-evaluate its goals for the season.

Here’s some more from around the junior circuit…

  • White Sox executive VP Kenny Williams talked to Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times about his experience scouting Abreu and then his discussions with owner Jerry Reinsdorf about raising the club’s bid for the heavily-courted slugger.  It was Reinsdorf, Williams said, who actually endorsed paying more for Abreu.  The extra push seems to have paid off, judging by Abreu’s huge April performance.
  • The Yankees are interested in Cuban outfielder Daniel Carbonell, according to media outlet Diario de Cuba (hat tip to Mike Axisa of River Ave Blues).  The Yankees scouted Carbonell during a February workout.  The switch-hitting 23-year-old is a free agent and can be signed for any price as long as he signs before July 2.
  • Astros amateur scouting director Mike Elias discusses his team’s scouting process, current top prospects and the upcoming 2014 amateur draft with Sportsnet.ca’s Ben Nicholson-Smith.
  • It looks like Scott Baker will indeed stay with the Rangers‘ Triple-A affiliate, sources tells Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish (Twitter link).  Cotillo previously reported that Baker would only use his May 1 opt-out clause if he could find a Major League deal with another team, and the White Sox and Indians had some interest in Baker’s services.

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