The market for long-time White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu is heating up.
According to MLB insider Jon Morosi, the San Diego Padres are making Pito a “top priority” after speaking with him earlier this month. The team is seeking a middle-of-the-order power bat and with an opening at their DH/1B spot, they’re viewing Abreu as a potential fit.
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. He officially became a free agent with several other White Sox players on November 7.
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.
Abreu has already been the subject of many rumors lately, with the Padres the latest to join the list. Other teams said to be in the running for the veteran include the Chicago Cubs, Houston Astros, and Boston Red Sox.
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.
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. Since then, Bruce Levine of 670 The Score has said Abreu’s chances of returning to the White Sox are “close to zero,” with outside clubs having a better chance of signing. 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 will be monitoring Abreu’s free agency over the coming weeks here at Sox On 35th. Follow us on social media @SoxOn35th for continued coverage!
To read more on Abreu’s free agency, check out the previously published articles:
- Jose Abreu thanks White Sox fans, discusses uncertain future
- In appreciation of Jose Abreu’s White Sox career
- MLB insider does not expect Jose Abreu to re-sign with the White Sox
- Cubs will reportedly pursue free agent Jose Abreu this offseason
- Jose Abreu, three other White Sox players become free agents
- Report: Chances of Jose Abreu’s return “close to zero”
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