White Sox: Jose Abreu Needs to Start 2017 Strong

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Sep 20, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Chicago White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu (79) hits a double against the Philadelphia Phillies during the first inning at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 20, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Chicago White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu (79) hits a double against the Philadelphia Phillies during the first inning at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /
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Lack of offense was a major concern for the White Sox last season. Part of that problem was Jose Abreu’s slow start. If the slugger can start 2017 strong, the offense should improve.

The ink is barely dry on Jose Abreu’s one-year contract with the Chicago White Sox, but it’s not too early to look towards 2017. Abreu opted out of the three years remaining on his contract to enter arbitration but avoided that with the deal. The slugger had an extremely slow start last season. A key for this team’s lackluster offense will be a strong start for him in 2017.

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Statistically speaking Abreu had a decent season. He had 25 home runs and 100 RBIs. He set the bar so high his first two seasons, it just seems like he had an off year. And by his standards he did. But that doesn’t mean he can’t have a bounce-back season. Because he’s this team’s best offense threat, they really need him to start the season strong.

Offense is a key reason this team struggled last season. They did not get a lot of timely hitting and struggled with runners in scoring position. If the slugger gets off to a hot start, the offense should be in much better shape.

Another reason the White Sox need Abreu to have a strong start to the season is to keep his trade value high. We have already heard of team’s, such as the Rockies, potentially interested in his services. This means they could attempt to move him at the trade deadline. If he’s having another monster season, like his rookie year, they can get a lot more in return.

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With this team in rebuild mode, they will most likely look to make more moves as the offseason and 2017 season gets underway. Abreu already has solid value, but his value would be much higher if he bounces back. If they decide to keep him, then he’ll provide them with a dangerous hitter in the middle of their order. Otherwise, they can look to flip him for another huge return. Whatever the case, the White Sox would be the winners.

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