White Sox say Jose Abreu ‘asymptomatic’ after positive COVID-19 test

Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports /

The Chicago White Sox got a scare this week when reigning American League Most Valuable Player José Abreu tested positive for COVID-19 during his intake for spring training.

But the White Sox say Abreu will likely be back by Monday and could be participating in spring workouts as soon as Friday.

The club issued a statement Wednesday saying Abreu is “completely asymptomatic.” General manager Rick Hahn confirmed testing showed Abreu also had COVIC-19 antibodies. The veteran first baseman believes he had a mild case of the disease last month.

Hahn painted a positive picture of the situation

Next. Who will be among the final 26 on Opening Day?. dark

"“Other than being frustrated, José feels great and, like the rest of us, is looking forward to when he rejoins the club in the not too distant future.”"

That sentiment was echoed by new manager Tony La Russa.

"“He’s rarin’ to go. I’ll say this. When he walks in the door, it’s going to be a huge moment for the 2021 White Sox. The guys can’t wait to see him and he can’t wait to see them.”"

Abreu led White Sox back to postseason in 2020

In the COVID-shortened 2020 season, Abreu led Chicago back to the playoffs for the first time since 2008. The White Sox got in as the No. 7 seed, though they finished tied with the Cleveland Indians for the best record among non-division winners in the American League.

More from Southside Showdown

The 16-team playoff structure led to some odd seeding assignments. The Houston Astros, who finished 29-31, were seeded sixth as the third-best second-place finisher. The White Sox and Toronto Blue Jays were the wild-card qualifiers.

In a normal season, the White Sox would have gone to Cleveland for the single-game Wild Card Playoff.

Abreu won his second consecutive AL RBI crown, driving in a major-league best 60 runs in the 60-game season. He also led the AL in hits (76) and slugging percentage (.617), while his 148 total bases were tops in all of baseball. He added 15 doubles, 19 home runs and scored 43 runs, posting a .317/.370/.617 slash line.

In seven seasons with the White Sox, Abreu is rapidly moving up the franchise’s list of all-time leaders.. He is already fifth in club history with 198 career home runs, 16 behind fourth-place Carlton Fisk and 23 in back of third-place Harold Baines.

His 671 RBI are 32 behind Magglio Ordonez for 10th place in franchise history.

He is fifth with a .520 slugging percentage, sixth with an OPS of .870 and fourth with an OPS+ of 136.

Next. Mount Rushmore of White Sox first basemen. dark

The MVP was Abreu’s second major award win, joining his Rookie of the Year season in 2014 when he also finished fourth in the MVP voting. Abreu is a three-time All-Star and has been named a Silver Slugger recipient three times as well.