White Sox: To Keep Or Not to Keep Jose Abreu Beyond 2019 Season?

CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 26: Jose Abreu /

Should White Sox keep veteran slugger after 2019 season, or is it time to explore trading the influential Cuban first baseman?

Since 2014, the Chicago White Sox have had one of the best players no one talks about much: Jose Abreu. All you have to do is look at his offensive numbers and it is clear to see Abreu is one of the best run producers in the sport. It’s proven by his 100+ RBI total the last four seasons. However, there is a major question that needs to be asked. Should the Sox keep him around after 2019?

The argument to yes

For those wanting to know why the Sox should keep Abreu around it is simple, offense. He hits for power and average, not to mention has a decent batters eye, which can be seen by his 172 walks in four seasons (43 per year). On top of that Abreu’s career low for doubles in a season was 32 (2016), meaning the only area of his offensive game he lacks is speed (six stolen bases in four seasons).

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Another major strength of Abreu is his leadership. Considering the Sox have so many young Latin players, it is crucial to have a Spanish-speaking veteran they can look up to. Even more important is his ability to lead by example, which is something the youngsters need even more.

The argument to no

Here is why Abreu might become a bit of a liability if the Sox keep him past 2019, age. Come 2020 Abreu will be 33 years old, meaning he could be on the downside of his career. Another concern is that his size could lead to injuries, and the longer he plays those chances increase tremendously.

There is another issue regarding Abreu as well; that being his defensive skill set. This is a player who made 10+ errors in two different seasons (2015 and ’16). Considering he did so at first base, Abreu’s future playing the field is likely limited at best. When you add that up with his size, it is very likely he will be a designated hitter in the near future.

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Overall, it makes sense for the Sox to keep Abreu around for a few years past 2019 but under one condition, as a designated hitter. He does not look to be a first basemen that is capable of playing playoff level defense, not to mention the fact he could save some energy by staying off his feet. How Abreu were to react if he were not in the field is a major variable.  If the ball club is serious about winning and keeping him around they are likely going to find out the hard way.