The American League East champion Boston Red Sox are one of a reported several Major League Baseball clubs holding trade talks with the AL Central Chicago White Sox about Jose Abreu the first baseman and slugger, according to multiple reports in the media.
Reports said that Boston was one of four teams remaining with a chance of landing Abreu when he signed a $68 million six-year deal in October of 2013 with Chicago. The other two teams were the Houston Astros and Milwaukee Brewers.
Abreu, who is now 30, last season batted .304 with 33 homers and 102 RBIs. It was the fourth consecutive season Abreu has hit 25 or more home runs and knocked in 100 or more RBIs’
The consistent production from Abreu has made the slugger one of baseball’s best power hitters today. The White Sox are clearly in a complete rebuild mode, evidenced by their 95 losses during 2017.
The White Sox also traded away their ace Chris Sale to the Red Sox and Adam Eaton a power hitting outfielder to the Washington Nationals prior to the start of last season.
Abreu therefore has become a trade chip the White Sox can use to help continue acquiring as much young talent as they can.
Several baseball pundits have ranked the farm system of the White Sox as the best in all of baseball. Boston has two prospects considered to be top-100 ranked. One is Jay Groome a pitcher, while the other is Michael Chavis a third baseman. By comparison, Chicago has six prospects in the top 100.
If Boston were to reach an agreement to trade for Abreu they would have to lose one or two players from an already thin farm system. However, Abreu represents a reliable hitter with power and is due just $11.5 million in 2018 which is reasonable and only $12 million for 2019.
That means there is solid logic in Boston trading for Abreu as the Red Sox look to fill in holes after finishing first in the AL East but being eliminated in the AL Division Series back in October.
For the White Sox, that are looking to two or three years down the road, dealing Abreu during this offseason would likely give them more value in return than if they waited until the trade delay line in 2018 or following the 2018 season.