It was thought that the Chicago White Sox would be active this off-season. Reports linked the White Sox to Curtis Granderson already and there were some rumblings that they had an interest in Cuban free agent first baseman Jose Abreu. Now, it looks like the White Sox aren’t waiting for the off-season to start their shopping as reports are circulating that the White Sox are poised to sign Abreu to a six-year, $68 million contract.
The 26-year-old first baseman’s contract would be larger than what Yoenis Cespedes and Yasiel Puig signed for. Cespedes inked a four-year, $36 million deal from the Oakland Athletics and Puig was the recipient of a seven-year, $42 million deal from the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The White Sox needed to do something this off-season but giving Abreu such a large contract is foolish. Scouts are undecided as to what they believe Abreu is. Some believe his swing is long and slow. Some perceive him as more of a DH while others think he could stick at first. One thing scouts are almost unanimous on is his power. The power is there but most scouts believe his swing is too long to make consistent contact.
Yes, Abreu’s swing can be adjusted and worked on. However, Abreu lacks the wow factor of Cespedes or Puig. To give him $68 million is just jaw dropping. It could be the result of a small bidding war with the Texas Rangers but to give him more money than the Dodgers gave Puig or the A’s gace Cespedes is worthy of some head-scratching.
Right now the future of incumbent White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko is up in the air and retirement is a real possibility. Adam Dunn, who can be considered nothing more than a DH at this point and the White Sox would love to dump Dunn’s contract at this point but will find it almost impossible to move Dunn and his $15 million he is still owed.
Would Abreu be ready for the Major Leagues or would he need time in the minors to work on some of his weaknesses and get adjusted? The White Sox aren’t paying him to play minor league ball so you can bet they will do everything possible to get Abreu on the field and keep him there. The question is, is he ready?
The White Sox are desperate and Abreu’s contract reeks of desperation. He could surprise people and hit the ground running. However, I envision a fairly long period of adjustment for Abreu. HE will run into a few fastballs and his power numbers should look good but I can’t see Abreu as an impact player on the White Sox for at least a couple of years especially in this lineup as currently constructed.