The 2016 offseason was a big one for the Chicago White Sox.
They traded Chris Sale and Adam Eaton, netting prospects Yoan Moncada, Michael Kopech, Lucas Giolito, Dane Dunning and Reynaldo Lopez. The team also agreed to a deal with international prospect Luis Robert during the 2017 season.
The organization then dealt pitcher Jose Quintana to the Chicago Cubs in exchange for phenom Eloy Jimenez who is on the fast track to the big leagues.
With the team in the middle of a rebuild and a bright future ahead, many thought the organization would be able to trade a player like Jose Abreau for more assets to add to an already stacked farm system.
But that wasn’t the case.
The White Sox decided to keep the 31-year-old Abreu who put together a solid season slashing .304/.354/.552 with 33 home runs and 102 RBI. Abreu has reached the 100-RBI mark in all four of his MLB seasons.
During the team’s annual Sox Fest event over the weekend, it was revealed as to why the White Sox didn’t trade Abreu. General Manager Rick Hahn pointed out some characteristics of Abreu, as the reasoning why they need him with this ball club.
“There was clearly speculation that he conceivably could have been moved this offseason,” general manager Rick Hahn said via NBC Sports Chicago. “Part of the reason that he wasn’t is that we do put a large value on what he does in the clubhouse, how he represents himself and the organization, what he does for our young players — the way he goes about his business is the epitome of a White Sox player. That probably leads to us valuing him a little more highly than other organizations who haven’t had the pleasure of having him, which makes it that much more difficult to line up on finding value on a trade.”
With Moncada set to be on the Opening Day roster in 2018 and Robert expected to see the big leagues at some point this season, having a veteran like Abreu in that clubhouse is key.
Moncada even commented on the situation.
His standards as a player, as a human being, have been an example for me,” Moncada said via NBC Sports Chicago. “I’ve been trying, always, to follow him as an example, as the guy that I want to be.”
If this rebuild works, we could look back at the team’s decision NOT to trade Abreu as one of the reasons for success.