White Sox veteran first baseman will be a free agent after 2019 season. Should team extend his contract this offseason with rebuild underway?
Chicago White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu has had a fantastic 2017 season. The 30-year-old slugger has once again recorded more than 25 home runs and 100 RBIs for the fourth consecutive season. He is also hitting as well as he did in his rookie season in 2014 with a .304 batting average in 2017.
As Abreu has maintained consistency at the plate throughout his career, the veteran slugger is due to become a free agent after the 2019 season. Abreu originally signed a six-year $68 million contract with the Sox during the 2013 offseason. Since signing with the team, Abreu has provided great value for the Sox both on and off the field.
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The Sox are in the middle of rebuilding and 2017 has been a successful season for the development of many players. Abreu’s contract ends when this team could become competitive again. Should the White Sox give Abreu a contract extension this season?
As the Sox head into the offseason, Abreu’s status with the team will certainly be among many topics according to Colleen Kane of the Chicago Tribune. The Sox could elect not to give Abreu a contract extension, but with his value increasing this year, the wise decision would be to make sure Abreu is playing on the South Side for his entire career.
This is something Abreu certainly wants according to Dan Hayes of CSNChicago.com. Abreu doesn’t want to go anywhere, but he understands this is a business. Although Abreu is right, the Sox would be foolish not to explore a contract extension for Abreu. He will be 32 when he becomes a free agent, and he might get a better contract by electing to stay with the Sox as opposed to hitting the open market.
Abreu has provided superb value for the Sox this season. With suggesting Yoan Moncada use a lighter back, telling Reynaldo Lopez to disclose his discomfort on the mound, and helping to recruit Luis Robert, Abreu has helped the Sox rebuild immensely in just one year. If that doesn’t show the front office that he’s worthy of a contract extension, how about his offensive numbers?
Well, Abreu as mentioned earlier is having his best offensive season since his rookie campaign in 2014. Through Saturday, Abreu has 33 home runs and 102 RBIs. Abreu can also finish this season with a higher batting average than he had in 2014 at .307. He hasn’t had more than 30 home runs and 101 RBIs in a season since 2014. Abreu is also a candidate to win his second Silver Slugger Award.
Abreu’s age might be a factor in him getting a contract extension, but it shouldn’t. Neither should money. The Sox have just $25.9 million in committed salary for next season which doesn’t include arbitration raises. Abreu is due for an arbitration raise, and this would be the perfect opportunity for the Sox to give him a contract extension.
The Sox have the chance to provide a fan favorite in Abreu with another long-term contract that ensures he finishes his career with the team. It would be great if Abreu’s leadership helps the team become competitive soon enough for him to experience the postseason with the Sox. It would be a shame if he isn’t on the team the next time they’re in the playoffs.