As Passan notes, Abreu’s contract allows him to opt for arbitration once eligible, in lieu of his contract’s remaining guaranteed salaries. That would come after the 2016 season, giving Abreu the ability to perhaps out earn the $34MM he is guaranteed over the final three years of his deal ($10.5MM in 2017, $11.5MM in 2018 and $12MM in 2019). Those salaries represent the final three years of what was a then-record-setting six-year, $68MM contract signed by Abreu after he defected from Cuba in the 2013-14 offseason. (Rusney Castillo’s seven-year, $72.5MM contract with the Red Sox has since eclipsed Abreu’s mark as the largest ever for a Cuban defector, while Yasmany Tomas’ six-year, $68.5MM deal has also slightly topped Abreu’s mark.)
Abreu, formerly a client of Praver/Shapiro, was the unanimous American League Rookie of the Year in 2014 after a breathtaking debut in which he batted .317/.383/.581 with 36 homers despite a brief stint on the 15-day disabled list. Now 28 years old, the Cuban-born phenom is off to a strong, albeit less impressive start to his sophomore campaign, as he’s slashed .288/.349/.500 as of Wednesday morning.
Relativity, formerly known as SFX, is one of the larger agencies in the industry and represents a vast number of Major Leaguers, including Nelson Cruz, Paul Goldschmidt, Madison Bumgarner, Ubaldo Jimenez, Justin Morneau and David Ortiz. The White Sox, in particular, have a large number of Relativity clients, including Zach Duke, Adam LaRoche, Jesse Crain and the recently outrighted Kyle Drabek.
Abreu’s change in representation has been noted in MLBTR’s Agency Database, which contains agent information on more than 2,000 Major League and Minor League players. If you see any notable errors or omissions, please don’t hesitate to let us know via email: [email protected].