The Red Sox are “very interested” in White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu, according to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, which runs contrary to previous reports. The Cardinals are also after Abreu, Cafardo adds, which isn’t surprising for a team that just lost out on Giancarlo Stanton and continues to seek a power bat. Abreu, who will turn 31 in January, slashed .304/.354/.552 with 33 home runs in 675 plate appearances last season. He comes with two years of arbitration eligibility and will earn a lofty sum – a projected $17.9MM – in 2018. The White Sox want “top prospects” for Abreu, per Cafardo.
More from Cafardo, whose latest column previews the Winter Meetings for all 30 clubs:
- With an obvious need at third base, the Giants are primed to go after the top two free agents at the hot corner – Mike Moustakas and Todd Frazier – Cafardo notes. The 29-year-old Moustakas (a California native) figures to reel in a much larger pact than Frazier (32 in February). Moustakas is also a qualifying offer recipient, so signing him would cost the Giants their second- and fifth-highest draft picks in 2018 and $1MM in international bonus pool space.
- Free agent first baseman Logan Morrison has drawn interest from the Rockies, per Cafardo. Signing Morrison, who MLBTR projects will land a three-year, $36MM payday this offseason, would presumably send Ian Desmond to the outfield full time as Carlos Gonzalez’ replacement. It could also give the Rockies a significant offensive boost, with the 30-year-old Morrison having slashed .246/.353/.516 with a personal-high 38 homers in 2017.
- The shortstop-needy Padres will pursue the premier player available at the position, Zack Cozart, according to Cafardo. Cozart was one of the best players in the majors last season, pairing his usual excellent defense with uncharacteristically great offense (.297/.385/.548 with 24 homers in 507 PAs), but the longtime Red isn’t a free agent at a time when many teams are seeking a shortstop, as MLBTR’s Mark Polishuk recently explained. That could negatively affect his market, then, though MLBTR still forecasts a respectable contract (three years, $42MM) for the 32-year-old.
- The Brewers would consider proposals for left fielder Ryan Braun, Cafardo suggests. Milwaukee has no shortage of outfielders, which could open the door for a Braun trade, but moving him would be challenging. The 34-year-old posted one of his worst seasons in 2017, thanks in part to injuries, and still has $57MM coming his way (including a $4MM buyout in 2021). He also has full no-trade rights as a 10-and-5 player.
- Along with the previously reported Raisel Iglesias, the Reds are “open to offers” for left fielder Adam Duvall, Cafardo relays. Duvall, 29, would provide cheap power to a team in need of it – he’s not eligible for arbitration until next winter and is fresh off his second 30-home run season in a row (though he hit an underwhelming .249/.301/.480 in 2017).
- The Athletics expected to retain infielder Jed Lowrie as of October, but now they’d “certainly be willing” to trade him, Cafardo reports. Lowrie will enter his age-34 campaign in 2018, in which he’ll earn a very reasonable $6MM, after turning in one of the healthiest and best years of his career last season.
- Orioles reliever Mychal Givens will be in “great demand” at the meetings, Cafardo writes. The 27-year-old is coming off his second terrific full season in a row and is under control for the next four years, including a pre-arb season in 2018. For those reasons, the Orioles may decide to keep the right-hander.