May 9, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu (79) hits a single RBI against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the fourth inning at U.S Cellular Field. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports
Oct. 29, 2013: Jose Abreu signs six-year free agent deal
A couple days before Halloween 2013, the White Sox gave a scare to the rest of the AL Central when they acquired the services of Abreu after he defected from Cuba.
The investment on Abreu was a six-year deal for $68 million as they were the highest bidder for the eventual AL Rookie of the Year.
If teams would have realized the player Abreu would become his first MLB season, I believe teams would most likely bid a higher number on Abreu. But they didn’t, and the White Sox were rewarded by Abreu for their faith in him.
Abreu finished the season with a team-high .317 batting average as he batted third in the White Sox order. He also had an on-base percentage of .383, and he led the majors with a .581 slugging percentage and in OPS+ of 169.
The first baseman of the White Sox was fourth in the AL MVP voting and was also a Silver Slugger Award winner.
Maybe the best part about Abreu is he’ll only continue to improve at the plate and on the field. Plus, the White Sox have surrounded him with other talented players in the batting order. Abreu is or will eventually be the face of the franchise, so expect lots of great things from No. 79 on the White Sox roster.