White Sox veteran first baseman Jose Abreu rumored to being targeted by defending National League champion according to a recent report.
Jose Abreu has been one of the best offensive players for the White Sox since his rookie season in 2014. Entering 2019, Abreu will be in the final year of his contract with the team. With the Sox not committing to Abreu beyond next season, the veteran first baseman could be a likely trade candidate.
According to Michael J. Duarte of NBC Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Dodgers have contacted the White Sox in regards to Abreu. The Dodgers have come up short in the World Series the past two years and could use the services of a true first baseman in Abreu.
Abreu has been a Sox fan favorite since his rookie season and it would be sad to see him get traded. The Sox don’t have any immediate replacement for Abreu’s production. If the Sox were to trade Abreu, they would need to replace his defense at first base and his power at the plate.
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While the Sox haven’t extended Abreu beyond next season, it doesn’t mean the team will trade its veteran clubhouse leader this offseason. When speaking with reporters on a conference call on Thursday, Sox general manager Rick Hahn talked about Abreu’s importance to the team and how his current contract doesn’t mean he won’t be part of future plans for the franchise.
The Sox don’t need to trade Abreu and could very well add quality players to the team this offseason to filed a contender in 2019. Although the Dodgers are rumored to be checking in on Abreu, the Sox can’t trade a valuable member of their team.
"“We know how important [Abreu] is not just on the diamond and when he’s playing but the stuff he brings off the field and the role he plays as a leader and as a mentor for our young players. Although he is going into the last year of his contract, that does by no means preclude him from being a part of our future.” Rick Hahn"
Abreu does deserve to play for a contending team. The veteran hasn’t come close to reaching the postseason in his first five years in the Majors. The Sox did the right thing in rebuilding their roster back in 2016. They’re close to becoming contenders and could begin competing by 2020 or as early as next season if they have some good free agent signings and possible trades this offseason. This would be good for Abreu if he is still with the team as he can be on the next Sox squad to reach the playoffs.
The Winter Meetings should be exciting for Sox fans as the team continues working on adding talent. One player that Sox fans shouldn’t have to worry about is Abreu. The Dodgers might be interested in trading for Abreu, but he’s more important to the success of the Sox going forward. That can’t be replaced with a free agent signing or a trade.