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.
Sources: #WhiteSox, Jose Abreu settle at $13 million, avoiding arbitration.— Robert Murray (@RobertMurrayFRS) January 12, 2018
Jose Abreu getting big payday with #WhiteSox, signing for $13 million— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) January 12, 2018
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.