The Chicago White Sox and Abreu certainly have appeared to have a mutual interest in him staying with the club for at least the 2020 season, but it remains to be seen exactly in what fashion.
Abreu, 32, is coming off a season in which he hit .284/.330/.503 with 33 home runs and an American League-leading 123 RBI. As detailed by FanGraphs, he also had a 117 wRC+ and a 1.9 fWAR.
Defensively, he had a -1.9 UZR and -4 DRS over the course of 1,103 2/3 innings at first base in 2019.
With those statistics, it is certainly understandable why the White Sox would be comfortable with Abreu accepting a one-year deal worth $17.8 million.
Worst case scenario for the team would be that he rejects it and signs somewhere else, which would still fetch them a draft pick from the organization he goes to.
That being said, that scenario is unlikely with the two sides appearing to be interested in a reunion. It is far more likely that he either accepts the offer or signs an extension with the club.
If I had to bet on it, I’d say it’s unlikely that Abreu actually is on the free agent market in a week from now as I believe one of those two scenarios will take place.
The incentive for Abreu to test the waters on the open market is very limited as he wants to stay with the White Sox and power-hitting first basemen in their 30’s tend to not do too well in free agency. On top of it, he arguably would be better off as a DH going forward which further limits his value.
With that being the case, Abreu and the White Sox will likely keep negotiating for the next week on a multi-year deal, with a contract similar to the two-year, $28 million one proposed by Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors making a ton of sense for both sides.
If they are unable to come to an agreement on a multi-year deal, I’d bet Jose Abreu will simply take the qualifying offer from the Chicago White Sox.