Jose Abreu is in his final season of club control, but the White Sox apparently aren’t envisioning a future without him. Asked by MLB Network’s Matt Vasgersian about Abreu’s future (video link), Hahn wasn’t subtle about his desire for Abreu to be a part of the team beyond the 2019 season.
“He’s been here throughout the early stages of this rebuild, and it’s certainly very likely that he’ll be here for the more enjoyable stages that lie ahead of us,” said Hahn of his first baseman after discussing Abreu’s importance not only on the playing field but in the clubhouse.
The debate over whether the Sox should trade Abreu has gone on for years, but despite past interest from multiple clubs and a large-scale teardown of the rest of the roster, Abreu has remained a constant in the lineup and in the locker room. Hahn specifically pointed out that Abreu was not moved as a part of an aggressive rebuild that shipped out Chris Sale, Jose Quintana, Adam Eaton, David Robertson, Tommy Kahnle, Todd Frazier and others as the Sox sought to restock their farm system. While it’s technically possible that the Sox could trade Abreu and then re-sign him as a free agent this winter, Hahn’s implication seemed to be that the organization hopes to retain Abreu moving forward.
There will surely be interest in Abreu once again this summer, as the slugger is off to a .268/.328/.518 start to the season. Through 180 plate appearances, Abreu has connected on 10 home runs and 11 doubles. He’s a career .293/.352/.516 hitter with 156 long balls since his rookie campaign back in 2014 That type of production would fit into the heart of any order, but Hahn stressed that Abreu’s off-field characteristics make him more valuable to the White Sox than to any of MLB’s other 29 clubs.
It’s not a foregone conclusion that the two sides will continue their relationship beyond the 2019 season, but Abreu has spoken openly in the past about his desire to remain with the White Sox, and Hahn’s latest comments make it apparent that the mutual interest on the team side of the equation has not changed. Barring an extension before season’s end, Abreu will be a candidate to receive a qualifying offer from the White Sox. He’s earning $16MM this season, so a qualifying offer — likely a bit more than $18MM this offseason — wouldn’t represent a substantial raise. Issuing a qualifying offer would not prevent the two sides from working out a longer-term arrangement covering the 2020 season and beyond.
What contenders really need a 1B? The Twins could upgrade Cron. Or maybe the Astros could upgrade Gurriel. But they have Yordan Alvarez in AAA so I can’t imagine that being their solution. I don’t really see a big market for Abreu on that salary. If the return is only going to be marginal you might as well keep him if you want him to be apart of the future.
The Twins have moved Kiriloff to 1b. I believe they are waiting on him. If they upgrade this season it might only be a rental.
Right but that’s all abreu would be. I don’t think thats necessarily a great fit either. I’d get pitchers if I were them but he’d certainly be better than cron.
You could throw the Indians in potential fit territory. Though I have no expectation that they would want to pay his salary. He’d certainly be a RH power bat that they could desperately use.
If the White Sox are reluctant or demanding too much for Jose Abreu in trade scenarios you can be darned sure that they will ask even more from the division rival Twins.
Bottom line: Abreu is likely not going anywhere this summer. If the White Sox do trade him they might still be the favorite to sign him as a free agent albeit it without the qualifying offer he would receive otherwise.
Unless there is an injury to a contender or Aguilar and Voit prove that they were 2018 one hit wonders, I don’t see much of a market.
Fred K. Burke
Agree with the comments. Don’t think the White Sox will get much of a return nor is there a high demand for Jose. Not at this point in time. A year or two ago would have likely provided a much higher return for the Sox. No disrespect at all toward Jose. One of my favorite White Sox players. He has been a very good player and a pro’s pro since he has been with the Sox. He can certainly help a playoff team that needs a DH/1st Baseman. However, at this point in time he would be a rental with free agency looming. Therefore, the low return. The White Sox should resign him. The next question is what would be a fair deal? Would 3 years/45 million work?
Show Me Your Tatis
Low return would be better than the nothing they will get from losing him to FA.
1-Who’s says the White Sox would lose Jose Abreu in free agency?
2-If they don’t trade him this summer they will surely extend Abreu a qualifying offer if a contract extension can’t be agreed upon before he hits free agency. That alone might guarantee Abreu remains a White Sox for at least the 2020 season with him potentially and even likely agreeing to the QO considering the state of free agency since the last CBA.
3-I think White Sox fans might know a little more about the organization’s stance regarding Abreu following their first pick in next month’s June Draft. If they once again opt for a top college hitter with their #3 overall pick, potentially Andrew Vaughn who can only play 1B, they might be more inclined to move on from Abreu. If they draft one of the elite high school players like SS CJ Abrams that could indicate they might be more inclined to retain their star slugging 1B/DH.
Show Me Your Tatis
1. If you’re so sure that the White Sox will be able to sign him that’s all the more reason to trade him. What sounds better to you: Abreu and prospects or just Abreu?
2. I doubt he accepts the QO but we’ll see.
One username is the simple solution. But it appears it is not the easy solution.
But likely less than a QO.
At age 32 Abreu should have a couple more good years left. The Sox should resign him and have him help mentor the young prospects we have. I believe Jose may have the capability to become a coach or to learn management (on or off the field) in the future. On the other hand, a good team that needs help at 1b is Colorado. Abreu would enjoy hitting at Coors Field. Murphy has been a non-factor there this year as was Desmond last year.
What about Arizona? Diamondbacks starter is Christian Walker (whom I’m a big fan of personally Go Gamecocks) but he has never been able to hold it down in the majors for a very long.
They have a highly productive player making the league minimum for the next 3 seasons. I can’t imagine they want to displace him with a guy making 16. They didn’t want to keep Goldy around because they knew they couldn’t pay him. I’m willing to bet they want Walker to be the man who holds it down. Until proven otherwise anyway.
White Sox should offer him 4/60 but will probably offer him 3/30.
Idioms for Idiots
@ Strike Four
I think the Sox might offer what amounts to a hometown discount, but I doubt they will slap him in the face with a serious lowball offer. I think they respect him enough not to lowball him that much.
i wouldnt go beyond 3 years at his age. i think he seems like the type of guy who could resist normal aging trends, but i wouldnt chance it too long. 3/40 might get him given the recent markets for 1B.
Idioms for Idiots
Abreu means far more to the Sox than any other team, so I would be stunned if he gets traded. I think the Sox will either extend him before Oct or slap the QO on him and work something out over the Winter/Spring (and I strongly believe he will take the QO).
It would be different if he still had 2 to 3 years left on his deal, but since this is his walk year and he’s already on the wrong side of 30 and showing signs of decline (though he still produces very well compared to others at 1B–in fact he might once again be a legit starter in the ASG), I don’t see the Sox getting anywhere near the return they desire for him.
I think the only decision for both the Sox and Abreu is how long do they extend him for. Otherwise I think it’s almost a certainty he stays on the South Side well past ’19.
Show Me Your Tatis
They should try and pull a Chapman with him.
Where would he go? Colorado would be great. Hitting with that lineup in that stadium. Brewers if Aguilar can’t come through. Maybe Twins? I don’t see a big return unless he tears it up throughout summer. He does have impressive September numbers in his career. I think the Sox should offer a 4 or 5 year extension.
Abreu isn’t going anywhere unless he chooses to leave in free agency. I can all but guarantee he isn’t getting traded this year. He’s not valuable enough to bring in a top prospect, and as many have said over the last couple years, he’s more valuable to the Sox organization than he would be anywhere else. Plus, Jerry is loyal to a family, so he’ll have no problem paying Abreu. The guy is absolutely retiring here unless he chooses to leave.
That being said, I’d still happily take Vaughn in the draft. Hopefully he’s not as bad as Abreu is in the field. He is certainly not a first baseman that saves his fielders from very many throwing errors.
Pretty much agree with your take here. I also prefer the White Sox opt once again for a premier college bat at #3 in the MLB Draft on June 3rd. If they luck out that could be switch-hitting catcher Adley Rutschman, Nick Madrigal’s former OSU teammate. More likely Rutschman will go #1 to the Orioles with the Royals a near lock to select prep SS Bobby Witt Jr. with the second pick. That would leave Andrew Vaughn available to the White Sox along with another high school SS in C.J. Abrams.
All of the mock drafts I have seen thus far have been pretty much split between those two as the White Sox choice. Despite the fact that the White Sox might have numerous options down the road at 1B/DH I still prefer they take the more proven bat in Vaughn who could be MLB ready as soon as 2021. Abrams has elite speed but may ultimately wind up in CF where the White Sox also have future options, none more so than uber prospect Luis Robert.
Show Me Your Tatis
Again, would you rather have Abreu + prospects or just Abreu? If we know he’s gonna sign with the White Sox anyway then trading him makes perfect sense.
Why wouldn’t the Nationals be considered a landing spot for Abreu? Other than they might not be in contention? But even if they are done, so is Zimmerman and Abreu would step right in for years to come.