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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