The White Sox have dealt away Chris Sale, Jose Quintana, Todd Frazier and a number of relievers since starting the rebuild in an effort to acquire as much young talent as possible. Meanwhile, Jose Abreu has stayed on the South Side.
Abreu is a free agent at the end of the season so rumors and speculation are commonplace around the Cuban first baseman. Would the White Sox try to cash in before the trade deadline this season? If they were going to do so, they probably would have done so earlier in the rebuild.
In an interview on MLB Network, general manager Rick Hahn said what he and the rest of White Sox brass have been saying about Abreu for a while now. They like Abreu as a leader and mentor to the team’s young talent during the rebuild.
“Jose has huge value to us,” Hahn said. “Not just in terms of what he does in between the lines, but in terms of role he plays in the clubhouse. I think that’s a large part of the reason that, although you’ve seen us move some premium type talent as part of this rebuild over the last couple years, that Jose is still here. When it comes to lining up value, all 29 other clubs can certainly put probably a similar value on him in terms of what he does between the lines. From our standpoint, we get the benefit of seeing what he does in the clubhouse, which probably increase how much we value him vs. others.”
What about extending Abreu with a new contract? Hahn gave an indication that the White Sox would like to keep Abreu beyond this season.
“He’s been here throughout the early stages of this rebuild and it’s certainly very likely that he’ll be here for the more enjoyable stages that lie ahead of us,” Hahn said.
The White Sox aren’t exactly looking like a contender at this stage, but the team is starting to win more games. More of the team’s young players are up with the team (Eloy Jimenez) and more of them are starting to contribute in big ways (Yoan Moncada, Tim Anderson). It sounds like there’s a good chance Abreu will still be around to lead the new generation of White Sox talent when the rebuild will no longer be in the “rebuild” stage.