The White Sox have some valuable commodities and they are starting to show up in some interesting trade rumors.
The latest rumor involves an Astros and White Sox deal that includes the All-Star first-baseman, Jose Abreu.
This rumor was shared by Nick Cafardo with the Boston Globe. The rumor was presented practically as a footnote near the end of his piece about the Red Sox and the future of their young hot-shot players. He then focused briefly on teams in contention and what they can do to improve.
Cafardo wrote about the Astros and Abreu:
"“There’s been a strong flirtation by the Astros with Abreu. While they’re monitoring the bullpen market, they could easily switch gears and pull this off. If they do, according to one scout, ‘Print the World Series tickets.'”"
Abreu vs Gurriel
This would be quite the pickup for the Astros, who already have a solid first baseman in Yuli Gurriel. While Abreu and Gurriel have similar numbers offensively, Gurriel is actually slightly better than Abreu this season. But, historically, Abreu dominates. The Astros do not have a weak link in their lineup and adding Abreu could catapult the Astros above the teams in their sights – like the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox.
Gurriel is no slouch. He is at the top of the AL when it comes to first basemen and the slash. In his 303 at-bats, he has a slash of .304/.334/.436. He’s hit 22 doubles and 6 home runs. His power is nowhere near Abreu’s.
Why Abreu is better
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Speaking of the White Sox All-Star, Abreu’s numbers are nothing to laugh at. His slash is .253/.308/.438. While Gurriel gets on base more, Abreu gets more extra-base hits. In his 352 at-bats, Abreu has 27 doubles, 1 triple, and 12 home runs. Unfortunately, Abreu does strikeout at a higher clip than Gurriel does. He has 71 compared to Gurriel’s 34.
It’s the historic numbers that seem to be enticing the Astros front office. The 2018 season has been Abreu’s worst, numerically speaking. But, he is also on one of the worst teams in baseball. Over his five year stretch with the Sox, Abreu has a career slash of .295/.352/.513. Gurriel’s career slash is .295/.327/.457.
This trade possibility is, of course, only a rumor. As painful as it would be to see Abreu leave Chicago, it is amazing to think of what it would do for him. Playing for the Astros does wonders for men who suddenly find themselves in Houston. Look at what it’s done for Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole.