You were reading about the White Sox hot stove rumors the other dayyyyy…
And then news dropped that White Sox veteran first baseman Jose Abreu accepted his qualifying offer for 2020, keeping him in Chicago for one more year at $17.8 million.
Sure, that’s a lot of coin for a 33 year old who isn’t top-5 at his position in the American League, but his value to the White Sox extends beyond the 33 home runs and AL-best 123 RBI in 2019.
He has widely been credited as a positive influence on the young players in the Sox clubhouse, particularly Eloy Jimenez and Yoan Moncada. Jimenez even remarked during this past season that Abreu was like a father-figure to him. Expect Abreu to take on that same role with Luis Robert this season, whenever he gets the call-up to the bigs.
That Abreu is on the Sox roster for 2020 was hardly in doubt. All season long, he expressed in no uncertain terms that he wanted to remain in a White Sox uniform, and Sox brass from Rick Hahn to owner Jerry Reinsdorf saying that they wanted nothing more than to keep Abreu around for the team’s emergence into a playoff contender.
It’s still possible that the Sox and Abreu come to terms on a two to three year agreement before Opening Day, which would likely see Abreu’s pay come down a bit from the $17.8 million price tag he’ll carry as of now. The market for strictly 1B/DH type sluggers isn’t very strong, so Abreu likely figured he’d get the best deal for himself taking this one-year deal, and continuing to negotiate with the Sox up through Spring Training.
Should the Sox ink Abreu to a 2-3 year extension, that would presumably allow him to be a part of the team’s window of contention, and mentor first baseman of the future Andrew Vaughn. That would allow Abreu to cement his legacy within the Sox organization for several years beyond his final game in a Sox uniform, whenever that is.
In the meantime, Abreu will be in the Sox lineup in 2020, just as everyone involved wanted.
Pito patter, let’s get at ‘er.