It appears that we’ve finally reached the end of the Pito era on the South Side.
According to Bob Nightengale, the Houston Astros are finalizing a deal to make Jose Abreu their next first baseman. The contract details have yet to be revealed, but it seems likely Abreu will get a three-year deal in Houston.
Heading into his age-36 season, Abreu will play his first season for a team other than the White Sox in 2023. During his White Sox tenure, Abreu became a staple of production in the White Sox lineup. After battling injuries throughout 2022, Abreu saw his power numbers dip but still turned in a quality season overall. In 157 games played, the 35-year-old hit .304/.378/.446 with 15 home runs, 75 RBI, and a .824 OPS, good for a 137 wRC+, 4.2 bWAR, and 3.9 fWAR.
Across his nine seasons with the club, Abreu has been the model of consistency with a slash of .292/.354/.506 with 243 home runs, 863 runs batted in, a .860 OPS, 133 wRC+, and a .364 wOBA. He’s amassed a 31.9 bWAR and 27.7 fWAR, both of which are the 19th-highest in franchise history. Overall, the Cuban appeared in 1,270 games, registered 5,506 plate appearances, and became both a fan favorite and unofficial team captain along the way.
In a press conference before the season’s end, Abreu expressed his desire to continue playing and showed an interest in returning to the White Sox. However, he said that there had not been any talks with the front office and that he would take the offseason to rest and think about what comes next. This was a far cry from when he said he would “sign himself” prior to his free agency in 2019.
White Sox general manager Rick Hahn admitted last month that a potential re-signing of Abreu would have “a ripple effect” on the rest of the roster, as the club appears ready to move Andrew Vaughn to first base to be their next long-term answer there. For Abreu, he will likely thrive in the short Crawford Boxes in LF for the Astros and will replace the aging Yuli Gurriel on the World Champion roster.
Though many would like for Abreu to finish out his career where it started, all signs point to him going elsewhere at this time. We wish Pito all the best and look forward to seeing how he ends his career. Thanks for the memories, 79.
Ironically, the White Sox will open the season in Houston.
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Agree with above posts. Good luck to Jose! Hopefully when he gets to Houston he asks Dusty Baker why he had Graveman drill him with that pitch in the eighth inning of Game 4 in the 2021 ALDS after the outcome had been settled. (I know Graveman denied it when he joined the Sox but I’m not convinced. It sure seemed like a response to Ryan Tepera’s comments.) If so, bush league move on the Astros part. But what do you expect from that organization. Maybe Abreu can show them how to do it with class.
At least Abreu’s talent won’t be wasted. He gets to play for a real team that is truly committed to winning! Reinsdorf and Hahn, for all of their big talk, never truly cared about winning. The Tony La Russa hire, along with complete inaction in plugging obvious holes in the roster, show this! La Russa would be returning in 2023 if it weren’t for his health issues! Don’t be surprised if nothing is done this off season! Abreu, you deserve better than the White Sox! Tom Hall
Abreu and Rodon have plenty of suitors. Sad for the good guys and great for the rich get richer.
MLB announces Astro/Abreu deal.
Good for ‘Pito’. It pains me to say this but Jose has a better chance of getting a ring with the Astros than he ever did with the White Sox. Good for me too since I had Abreu going to the Astros in the MLBTR free agent contest.