Chicago White Sox: Six-Year, $68 Million for Cuban Free Agent Jose Abreu is Just Foolish

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

 

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.

Chris is a Senior Writer as well as the Hiring and Recruiting Manager for Rant sports. Follow Chris on Twitter and “Like” his page on Facebook.

Around the Web

  • Jason J. Connor

    Your article would sound less ridiculous if you gave your opinion on what the Sox SHOULD have done, not just saying it was a “foolish” move. What would YOU do? Resign Konerko and be happy with 10 home runs and 50 RBI at first? Sign James Loney and be happy with 10 home runs and 80 RBI at first? Man up and give a solution, don’t just critique the problem and drop it.

  • Adam Sager

    Yeah that would have been nice Jason, but all he did was give reasons SOME scouts think. He didn’t mention that some scouts think he can be a monster or that the Sox don’t have to give up draft pick like they would most likely with Napoli or Morales. Also he didn’t say anything about the Sox not really having a first baseman in the system.

    Also word is that BOS, TEX and HOU were all in the $63-66 million dollar range over 6 years with the Marlins just under $60M. So that is four other teams that thought he was worth close to what the Sox paid.

    I get some reservation about the deal, but just to call it foolish right off the bat isn’t really smart.