Here's a surprise on Wednesday night: The Los Angeles Dodgers contacted White Sox about Jose Abreu.
This is a report by NBC Los Angeles, Michael J. Duarte.
– Michael J. Duarte (@michaeljduarte) December 5, 2018
Of course, there is no information about whether the White Sox hear or not. But Abreu's long-term future on the South Side has been a topic of conversation for quite some time, really since Rick Hahn's front office has begun its rebuilding.
However, if the White Sox decides that paying the soon-to-be-31-year-old Abreu for the team's long-term future is better than giving it a contract extension (or simply holding it until the 2019 deadline) there may be less interesting potential Trading partner as the Dodgers.
They have four prospects in the top 100 of the MLB pipeline: outfielder Alex Verdugo, catcher Keibert Ruiz, right-hander Dustin May and midfielder Gavin Lux. And then there's Walker Buehler, the 24-year-old right-hander, in 2018 in 24 games (including 23 starts) posted a 2.62 ERA. He is under the team's control for five more seasons, the kind of long-time player that would perfectly match the bright future of the White Sox.
Abreu is loved by the White Sox organization, a guy blashers often refer to as an example of younger players. He's also been an exceptionally prolific hit since coming out of Cuba before the 2014 season, when he won the AL Rookie of the Year Award. He was the third player to start his career with four seasons in a row, with at least 25 home runs and 100 RBIs. However, thanks to a sustained mid-season break and two failed injuries, Abreu failed to reach those numbers in 2018 and ended his worst statistical season as a great coach – though he was still the first AL baseman in the All-Star Game and a silver slugger.
His growing old age, a low season (no matter how fluky) and only one more season for his current contract could make Abreu not perfect in the longer term than he seemed a year ago.
The White Sox still has plenty of flexibility to choose Abreu. You can swap this off season, swap it on the deadline, or give it a contract extension to stop it when the team goes from recovery mode to contention mode.
But at least one team that may have much to offer is interested. And given the productivity of Abreu since coming to the US, it would not be surprising to learn that others do too.
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