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"


Bill Smith
1 year 3 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.

rct
1 year 3 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.

Ben_Cherington
1 year 3 months ago

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

Tesseract
1 year 3 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

brian310
1 year 3 months ago

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

Tesseract
1 year 3 months ago

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

Trock
1 year 3 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!

rct
1 year 3 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?

Thizzie
1 year 3 months ago

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

StevetheBaker
1 year 3 months ago

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

raymondrobertkoenig
1 year 3 months ago

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

Cosmo3
1 year 3 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.

AsHeR
1 year 3 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.

1 year 3 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.

johnsilver
1 year 3 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.

1 year 3 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.

Rally Weimaraner
1 year 3 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?

Greg Gabrielsen
1 year 3 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)

Rally Weimaraner
1 year 3 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.

Greg Gabrielsen
1 year 3 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.

Steven Prigge
1 year 3 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.

Vegandork
1 year 3 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.

CandyMaldonadoLand
1 year 3 months ago

I know the Cubs are a couple years away from contending (or, this is what I keep hearing) but their farm isn’t too rich on SP. Instead of paying a boatload for FA SP’s in the next year or so, why don’t they just lock someone like Hammel down now? He can be had for much cheaper and helps solidify the rotation in the immediate future.
I don’t like this idea of accepting being in rebuilding mode and taking the 65 wins a year and expecting it to all flip once Bryant, Almora and the rest of the prospects get promoted. I believe setting the example that winning now is also important.

Vegandork
1 year 3 months ago

Hammel is not very good and will likely regress beyond acceptability.

Trock
1 year 3 months ago

Completely agree. I like Hammel as a stop gap but long term shouldn’t be in the Cubs plans. He isn’t the type of guy that helps solidify a rotation.
I do not see the harm in the Cubs plans of paying a boatload for FA SP’s. If even half of their position players pan out, they will be set in regards to their fielding and it will be pretty cheap. Why not throw a bunch of money at proven top FA SP’s and you got yourself a great team. The Cubs will have to throw a bunch of money at SP to get them to sign with them, they have something to prove. That they can be a contender. They are no where close to being there though.

1 year 3 months ago

Depends on what it costs to lock Hammel down. He presumably wants to shoot for somewhere in the 10-12 million AAV range in FA if all goes reasonably well in 2014. Depending on years something like Guthrie or Feldman’s deal would probably be his ceiling if he recreates his 2012 numbers.

Which would mean that the Cubs would probably have to overpay to lock him down now by a couple million or an extra year. Is that worth it for them? I don’t think so.

Strugz
1 year 3 months ago

Hammel is a back of the rotation starter. He’s a number 5. Sure, he’s putting up good numbers now, but will come back to reality. #5 starters can be had on waiver claims and already do exist in AAA. No need to spend on him….

First Bleed
1 year 3 months ago

I can’t even image if the Brewers would have stepped up and signed Abreu since they have no future plans at 1B… but they would never make a bold international move like the White Sox did, glad it is working out for them!

oh Hal
1 year 3 months ago

Maybe I’m wrong but I think they bid 6/60. Regardless, they bid on him. What do you mean by saying they have no future plans at 1st?

First Bleed
1 year 3 months ago

That I did not know, thanks for the info. I meant to say there is no clear future for the Brewers at 1B. Both of their current 1B’s are on 1 year deals and no one really knocking at the door in the high minors. I don’t view Hunter Morris as the long term answer, he will be good enough to make the bigs but not much better than replacement level.

Cyyoung
1 year 3 months ago

Abreu is going to be a heck of hitter. Always been a great hitter. Saw him in WBC, that was what convinced me.