White Sox

White Sox reportedly avoid arbitration with Jose Abreu


White Sox reportedly avoid arbitration with Jose Abreu

The White Sox reportedly will not be heading to arbitration with their best hitter.

According to multiple reports, the White Sox and Jose Abreu settled on a $13 million salary for the upcoming 2018 campaign, avoiding an arbitration hearing.

Abreu was stellar last season, slashing .304/.354/.552 with 33 home runs and 102 to join Joe DiMaggio and Albert Pujols as the only players ever to hit 30 home runs and drive in 100 runs in each of their first four major league seasons.

Abreu led the American League with 343 total bases and struck out a career-low 119 times. He finished 14th in voting for AL MVP honors.

Abreu's name has been mentioned often this offseason in trade speculation, though it seems like the White Sox are intent on keeping the first baseman in the South Side's home clubhouse, where he has earned rave reviews as a teammate, leader and mentor for the organization's fleet of young players, chiefly fellow Cubans Yoan Moncada and Luis Robert.

Abreu has been consistently great at the dish ever since joining the White Sox ahead of the 2014 season, when he was unanimously named the AL Rookie of the Year. That production and the White Sox ongoing rebuilding effort figured to make him an interesting trade candidate. But that strong bat plus the aforementioned off-the-field value go just as far to make him a potential piece for the long term, as well. Abreu, under team control for the next two seasons, would require a contract extension if the White Sox want to keep him around for the time when the rebuild is supposed to produce a perennial contender.

The must-listen Nicky Delmonico White Sox Talk Podcast


The must-listen Nicky Delmonico White Sox Talk Podcast

While taking part in the White Sox hitters camp in Glendale, Ariz., Nicky Delmonico joined Chuck Garfien and Ryan McGuffey on the podcast to talk about his impressions of Luis Robert and Eloy Jimenez. But that was only the beginning. 

Delmonico went in-depth about his first major league season, doing hot yoga this winter with Jake Burger, the one White Sox player he expects to have a big season in 2018 (the answer might surprise you), losing a big bet to Tim Anderson.

Plus, Delmonico helps us give away a pair of 3-day passes to Sox Fest and much more.

Listen to the latest White Sox Talk Podcast right here:

Is Luis Robert so good that he'll start the season at Double-A?

Is Luis Robert so good that he'll start the season at Double-A?

Just how good is Luis Robert?

Well, that's the problem. Us on the outside, we don't know exactly.

The White Sox obviously love him, willing to give him big bucks to come play a starring role in the rebuild. Rick Renteria raved about Robert last month at the Winter Meetings, getting White Sox fans all excited by hyping Robert's speed, fielding skills and power.

But as good as the scouting reports sound, is Robert really so good that he'll go from never playing a game in the United States to the higher levels of minor league baseball right away?

That eyebrow-raising possibility was floated Tuesday.

Robert unsurprisingly has plenty of confidence in his own abilities and told The Athletic's James Fegan at the team's hitters' camp in Arizona that his goal is to make it to the big leagues sometime in 2018.

But perhaps the more interesting comment came from Chris Getz, the White Sox director of player development, who said Tuesday that Robert could potentially start the season at either of the White Sox two Class A affiliates, Kannapolis or Winston-Salem, or even at Double-A Birmingham.

Robert is just 20 years old, and he's yet to play a game of minor league baseball in the United States after spending his teenage years playing in Cuba. In fact, his only action since joining the White Sox has been 28 games in the Dominican Summer League. He did fare quite well in that handful of contests, slashing .310/.491/.536 with three homers, 14 RBIs, 12 stolen bases and a sparkling 22-to-23 walk-to-strikeout ratio. But that's not really the point.

The White Sox are in no rush with Robert, or any of their highly touted prospects, for that matter. Not expected to compete for a championship in 2018, there doesn't appear to be any reason to elevate Robert to the highest levels of the minors so quickly without first getting him some experience in the lower levels.

Of course, Getz even mentioning the possibility of Robert starting the season at Birmingham should also show just how good the team thinks Robert is right now. So maybe Robert's major league dream for 2018 isn't as crazy as it sounds?