Chicago Notes: Abreu, Sox, Cubs, Hammel

Here’s the latest about both Windy City franchises…

  • Jose Abreu “may turn out to be the bargain of the winter,” writes CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman.  The White Sox signed Abreu to a six-year, $68MM contract in October that carried some risk given Abreu’s lack of experience in American pro ball, yet the Cuban slugger hasn’t had any trouble adapting.  Abreu is hitting .262/.330/.631 and leads the majors with 10 homers and 31 RBI, the latter mark getting a new Major League record for most RBIs by a rookie in the month of April.  Since the White Sox didn’t outbid other Abreu suitors like the Astros, Red Sox and Rockies by much, these clubs “may be kicking themselves for not kicking in a few more bucks,” Heyman notes.
  • Jason Hammel will be made available for a trade this summer if he stays healthy, FOX Sports’ Jon Paul Morosi tweets.  With Hammel pitching well and signed to only a one-year deal, it has been expected that the Cubs will look to move him as they did Scott Feldman last summer.
  • With the Cubs short on pitching, however, could the Northsiders look to sign Hammel to an extension rather than trade him?  Hammel dismissed the subject when talking to reporters (including Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune and Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times), saying it’s “crazy to even bring that up right now. It’s April. It’s still very early….Obviously it would be entertained, but I’m not thinking about that.”  The right-hander did say that he would like to stay in Chicago and that getting an extension “would be an honor.”


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31 Comments on "Chicago Notes: Abreu, Sox, Cubs, Hammel"


Member
Bill Smith
1 year 2 months ago

Excellent job of stating the obvious, Mr. Heyman. I’m sure nobody else has noticed what Abreu is doing, especially not the teams that were barely outbid.

Member
rct
1 year 2 months ago

There’s all kinds of things wrong with Heyman’s proclamation. First, we’re like 25 games into a six year deal, so saying anything about the deal’s value is extremely premature. Second, however, if you’re going to make a statement like his, well then of course it would be Abreu. I often wonder what some sportswriters are thinking when they write articles like that that are devoid of any real info or insight.

Member
Ben_Cherington
1 year 2 months ago

“may turn out to be the bargain of the winter,”
I see nothing misleading about this statement.

Member
Tesseract
1 year 2 months ago

Just because a guy hits 10 HR in his first month of his 6 year contract does not mean it was a bargain. Let’s wait at least a year to make such statements

Member
brian310
1 year 2 months ago

he said it “may” turn out to be a bargain, not that it definitely will be a bargain.

Member
Tesseract
1 year 2 months ago

Yes but that’s like saying. Since the white sox scored 5 runs in the first inning they “may” win this game

Member
Trock
1 year 2 months ago

It’s through, though. The usage of “may” leads you to believe it could go either way, which true.
That being said, I hate the statement with a passion. Of course it may look like a bargain. He could regress considerably and be nothing more then a bench player. Duh!

Member
rct
1 year 2 months ago

But that’s why I wrote the second part of my post. Of course Abreu ‘may’ be the bargain of the winter; why even write the article?

Member
Thizzie
1 year 2 months ago

It is a slow time for Rumors, the guy is just doing his job writing a piece…

Member
StevetheBaker
1 year 2 months ago

Exactly. It is just sports writing. It is nothing to get upset about.

Member
raymondrobertkoenig
1 year 2 months ago

Have to believe Hammel and Samardzija are gone by the deadline.

Member
Cosmo3
1 year 2 months ago

Honestly, we’ve reached the point now where the Cubs would best extending them both. With a decent rotation now in place and the position player minor leaguers making their way up, it’s conceivable they could get competitive soon.

Member
AsHeR
1 year 2 months ago

Abreu is on a tear but remember we are only in April. Hitters get hot but they all get slumps at some point. Let’s see how he is by the end of July.

On another note…

Everyone in, around, or even near baseball knows damn well the Cubs will trade Hammel.

Member
1 year 2 months ago

While it’s obviously a little early to gauge the success of the Abreu contract, I think it’s important to note that 6/68 was about the upper limits for such a deal to escape staunch criticism. He doesn’t have to put up MVP numbers every year for that to be a good deal for the White Sox.

Member
johnsilver
1 year 2 months ago

I am curious to see how much those walk numbers tumble further from 8bb over 115PA to even less by probably next year at the latest.

Heyman was bringing up every shining topic, yet left up that red light that has spelled doom to many sluggers, including many whom had some patience and would take a few walks over their respective careers, where through April, this guy is taking not very many to have put up monstrous numbers.

Member
1 year 2 months ago

This is true. Some seasoning in the minors would’ve likely helped his walk rate and that’s something the White Sox will need to figure out how to fix.

Member
Rally Weimaraner
1 year 2 months ago

Abreu “may turn out to be the bargain of the winter” or he may turn into Mark Reynolds. Hard to judge a player based on 26 games, his 10 HRs = great, his 7% BB rate and 21% K rate = not so great. Plus does anyone think he will post anything close to a .369 ISO for his career?

Member
Greg Gabrielsen
1 year 2 months ago

While I completely agree the “bargain of the winter” statement is devoid of any useful knowledge, citing Abreu’s BB% & K% numbers, doesn’t back up your argument. The ML Average for walk rate is 8.3% and strikeout rate is 20.8% (according to FanGraphs), so he’s basically MLB average there. Heck yes his ISO is coming down as a full third of his fly balls have left the yard (more than 3 times the ML average)

Member
Rally Weimaraner
1 year 2 months ago

My point in citing his BB% and K% is that ML Average does not = bargain of the winter. Granted I would say that argument is equally limited by the 26 game sample.

Member
Greg Gabrielsen
1 year 2 months ago

Depending on how one twists the word “bargain” paying 6/68 for a slugger with average K/BB rates, it can work. And I completely agree regarding the small sample size. As a ChiSox fan, I’m equal parts elated by what’s doing and terrified that it’s all downhill from here.

Member
Steven Prigge
1 year 2 months ago

It does if said player is leading the league in HRs and RBIs too… I’m sure every team in the league would take an average BB% and K% for their big sluggers. I’m with Greg though unfortunately. I know a slump inevitably will come eventually, but I’m just hoping the wheels don’t completely fall off at any point and he shows he can not let it get to his head and fights through it.

Member
Vegandork
1 year 2 months ago

This runs off the baseless assumption that Abreu’s counting statistics and power will regress as opposed to his peripherals improving with experience.

This is what happens when people without the ability to evaluate talent and scout try to make assumptions out of numbers they don’t understand. They guy has like a .240 BABIP. He’s actually severely under-performing what his peripherals say should happen. When that evens out/he stops being so unlucky, he will be even better.