Jose Abreu is in the final year of his contract with the Chicago White Sox, so what should the Sox do?
Jose Abreu is 35 years old and his having another good season which is to be expected from one of the most consistent first baseman in all of major league baseball. However, he is a free agent this off season and will be 36 next year, so is it worth it to sign him to another contract when Andrew Vaughn is the future franchise first baseman?
Jose Abreu has been one of the fan favorites since he began his career back in 2014. He has accomplished so much in his short career already. He has won a Rookie of the Year award, an MVP, and will more than likely get his #79 retired here on the south side of Chicago. But one thing is missing in his trophy case, and that is a World Series trophy.
José Abreu, entering the final season of his current Sox contract, on his future:
"I don't know. Whatever happens is going to happen. I'm just going to enjoy the season and try to do my best, as I always do, and represent the White Sox organization as I always do."
— Vinnie Duber (@VinnieDuber) October 13, 2021
The White Sox are in a window right now where they should be competing for a championship for the next 5-7 years and I am sure that Jose Abreu would love to be a part of that run. He has seen some very good White Sox teams and he has seen some very bad White Sox teams. And he has been the cornerstone of the team the entire time.
This year, Abreu leads the team in home runs, runs batted in, hits and games played. He has not lost a step during his entire 9 year career with the White Sox. As usual, Abreu has been a leader on the field because of the way that he plays every day. An off day for him means that he plays DH instead of first base and that shows that he wants to compete for this ball club every single day.
It would be very, very hard to not see Jose Abreu’s #79 next year for the White Sox, but just like his predecessor, Paul Konerko, that run has to end sometime. Luckily for the White Sox, we have our future everyday first baseman on the roster right now.
Andrew Vaughn is very clearly an incredibly talented hitter and someone that will be extremely valuable for the team in the next coming years. Vaughn is already hitting big league pitching at a successful rate, he owns a .301 batting average and has hit 13 home runs alongside 58 RBI in 92 games this season. In his second big league season, Vaughn has surpassed last years numbers in almost every important statistic in 30 less games this year!
How about this for consistency.
Andrew Vaughn in the first half: .301/.350/.470/.819
Andrew Vaughn in second half: .301/.354/.466/.820
— Chuck Garfien (@ChuckGarfien) August 14, 2022
If you want to think about things in a worst case scenario outlook and imagine, “what happens if Vaughn gets hurt?” The White Sox have plenty of people to fill his shoes. Gavin Sheets is always an option to play first base, since he is a first baseman that the White Sox put in the outfield. Yasmani Grandal is also an option to play first base. That would help him because we all know that he has been dealing with some knee injuries over his career so first base could be a home for him instead of behind the plate.
The White Sox would be in good hands if Jose Abreu is not a part of the team next year. But what does his absence mean to the everyday lineup? The Sox would need someone to fill Vaughn’s spot on the field, which has been one of the corner outfield positions and DH. You would imagine that like Oscar Colas will fill at right field, where Vaughn has played a majority of the time this year.
But someone would have to fill in at DH, in an ideal world, Eloy Jimenez should be the DH because he is not the best defensive left fielder. The White Sox do have some youngsters to fill that position, Yoelqui Cespedes could take that spot in the outfield to make the defense stronger.
Because of the way that the White Sox roster looks both on the major league roster, and in the minors, the best way to handle Jose Abreu next year is to not offer him a contract extension for 2023.
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