There are a number of teams in talks with the Chicago White Sox regarding a trade that involves Jose Abreu. It’s not quite clear who, besides the Boston Red Sox, showing great interest in the 30-year old slugger.
Abreu isn’t likely to come cheap, but besides his ability (we’ll touch on his numbers in a bit), one of the main drawing points is the ability to control his contract through arbitration for the next two seasons. He’ll probably make close to $18 million next season, and projections are talking about around $40 million over the next two seasons for someone who won’t be 31 until January of next year.
Abreu has been with the White Sox since 2014, winning rookie of the year and the Silver Slugger award upon his arrival. He has been a consistent offensive presence for a team that seems intent on giving up on all its veteran assets (mainly Chris Sale and Jose Quintana over the last year). Abreu has received MVP votes in three of his four MLB seasons, and hit 33 home runs through 156 games in 2017, along with batting .304 and posting a .354 OBP and .552 SLG.
Abreu isn’t a defensive standout, but you can find worse at first base. He appeared in 18 games last season as the DH for the White Sox and led the American League with 343 total bases last season. He also produced over 100 RBIs for the 4th consecutive season.
This deal makes sense for the White Sox, who seem to have plenty of leverage considering the current market, all waiting for Giancarlo Stanton yet fearing the luxury tax. They’re in no rush to deal with him without getting serious prospect and young player compensation. On the other side, the Red Sox have said they’re not too keen on parting with significant prospect value for a slugger, so while the two sides are in discussions, it might be a difficult deal to pull off.
Overall, Abreu has made 614 appearances in four seasons, hitting a total of 124 home runs while batting .301.