Cuban defector Jose Abreu reportedly agrees to deal with Chicago White Sox

  • David Whitlock

The Chicago White Sox aren’t taking finishing in the cellar lightly.  They appear to be making a strong move toward American League Central contention sooner than later.  According to Doug Padilla of ESPNChicago.com, multiple media sources (AP, MLB.com, FOX) are reporting that Cuban defector Jose Abreu has agreed to a 6-year, $68M deal to play on the South Side of Chicago.  It would be the largest contract ever for an International free agent.

Abreu looks the part of slugger, but will his bat speed translate? (Credit: radiorebelde.cu)

Abreu looks the part of major league slugger, but will his bat speed translate?
(Credit: radiorebelde.cu)

Reports surfaced toward the end of August that Abreu had left the isle of Cuba, but talks never heated up to play in 2013.  He was a star for the disappointing Cuban National team in the 2013 World Baseball Classic, here’s an example of his power against an overmatched China (via YouTube/2013WBCHighlights):

The 250 pound, 26-year-old (will be 27 on 2014 opening day) figures to replace the White Sox venerable 1B Paul Konerko, whose contract expired in the offseason.  Konerko has been with the Pale Hose for 14 seasons and is the last remaining member of the Chicago White Sox 2005 World Champion team.

There are concerns with the level of competition that Abreu has played to date, being sheltered with only limited International play as a benchmark.  If Abreu follows the leads of fellow Cuban defectors Yoenis Cespedes and Yasiel Puig, he might find himself in the All-Star game, or even playoffs his rookie season.

– David Whitlock

Related Stories:
REPORT: Cuban slugger Jose Dariel Abreu has defected
Yasiel Puig Hits First Career Grand Slam!

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David Whitlock

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David (a.k.a. Longhorndave or lhd_on_sports) joined the staff late in the 2012 season and moved to Site Manager in early 2013. A lifelong Houston Astros fan (and mini-season ticket holder for 9 years) he attends 20+ games per year. A statistics freak, David still keeps score the "old fashioned way" on occasion (and has kept manual score of World Series games since 1986 and retains the sheets). He was a featured guest weekly on the Phil Naessens Show. He is also a Texas Longhorns alumnus and huge football and baseball fan of his alma mater. When he isn't watching or writing about baseball, he works as a contractor at NASA Johnson Space Center. He lives by the mantra "a bad day at the ballpark is better than a good day anywhere else."

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