White Sox veteran first baseman entering his final year of arbitration. 2019 could be the final season on the South Side for the first baseman.
Jose Abreu was originally signed to a six-year $68 million contract during the 2013 offseason by the White Sox. Entering this offseason, Abreu will be entering his final year of arbitration. After the 2019 season, Abreu could find himself as a free agent.
The White Sox will have a decision to make with Abreu either this offseason or next season. They could offer Abreu an extension this offseason, let him walk as a free agent after the 2019 season or they could trade him before the trading deadline next season. Abreu has been a solid offensive force for the Sox since his rookie season in 2014. Unfortunately, he’s never played for a contending Sox team.
Abreu has also been a good veteran presence in the Sox clubhouse with the team’s younger players over the past few years. If the Sox either trade Abreu or let him walk after the end of next season, it would be a great loss for the team. Even if the Sox were to get a decent return for Abreu in a trade, they would still lose a valuable veteran.
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This offseason should be important for the Sox as they look to make good additions to their team. If the Sox could add enough veterans to help field a competitive team, Abreu would have a better chance of being with a contender in 2019 on the South Side. If next season will be Abreu’s last with the Sox, he should have an opportunity to play in the postseason.
It will take a lot of key additions this offseason for the Sox to have a slight chance of being a contender in 2019. The Sox inability to put together a contending team in Abreu’s first few seasons in MLB was unfortunate. And now they’re in a position to not be able to be competitive in Abreu’s last season with the team possibly.
The Sox could very well trade Abreu this offseason to a contender or another rebuilding team. If they do trade him, they will have another void to fill. The Sox don’t have much depth at first base currently, and can’t replace Abreu’s offensive production easily. The likely scenario for Abreu is to enter next season without an extension.
Not extending Abreu for another few years isn’t a logical choice, but the Sox haven’t made a commitment to the 31-year-old first baseman beyond 2019. Abreu deserves a contract extension with the Sox. It remains to be seen if the Sox will make the right choice and extend their most important veteran player.