For over a month now, it’s seemed like the White Sox would let Jose Abreu join a new organization and install Andrew Vaughn at first base. That became official this week, when Abreu signed with the Astros. However, the Sox didn’t just completely turn their back on him. “The White Sox made me an offer, it was a really good offer, but we’ll leave it at there,” Abreu said in his introductory press conference, per Chandler Rome of The Houston Chronicle.
Without any details, it’s hard to say exactly how hard the White Sox tried to retain Abreu, but it wasn’t enough either way. Abreu’s interest seems to have been quite wide, as it’s already been reported the Guardians made a three-year offer and he was also a top target of the Red Sox. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Padres also made a three-year offer while Craig Mish of the Miami Herald reports that the Marlins were at the table as well. Regardless, what’s done is done and Abreu is an Astro now.
One person who was involved in the deal coming together was former Astro Jeff Bagwell, as Crane said he and assistant general manager Bill Firkus flew to flew to Miami to negotiate the deal with Abreu, per Rome. It was recently reported amid the departure of general manager James Click that Bagwell has been working with the front office in some capacity, sitting in on meetings and things of that nature. Bagwell is apparently one of Crane’s most trusted advisors and it seems his level of engagement has increased in Click’s absence. However, it doesn’t appear as though it will go much farther, as he insisted to members of the media that he does not want the open general manager position and wouldn’t interview for it if asked, per Rome.
In other Astros news, Mark Berman of Fox 26 reports that Gary Pettis will return as the third base coach, with pitching coach Bill Murphy returning for 2023 as well. Pettis has been in that role since 2015 while Murphy just got his job title a year ago when Brent Strom parted ways with the club.