The Red Sox are among the teams in active talks with the White Sox about acquiring 1B Jose Abreu, FanRag.com's Jon Heyman of Fan Rag tweeted late Wednesday.
Abreu, 30, is arbitration eligible each of the next two seasons, after which he will be a free agent.
According to MLB Trade Rumors, he is expected to earn up to $18 million in 2018 with a another sizable raise due to him in 2019.
In 621 at-bats for the White Sox last season, he hit .304 with a .354 OBP, 33 home runs and 102 RBI, while starting 138 games at first base and generating a 4.1 WAR, according to FanGraphs.com.
Earlier this week, I mentioned that teams looking for a first baseman were viewing Abreu as a reasonable alternative if free-agent prices were too steep. Heyman's tweet may indicate prices remain high, even though I believe prices will eventually come down.
In either case, the Mets better be among the teams asking about Abreu because, regardless of free-agent asking prices, he's the best option after Eric Hosmer and Carlos Santana...
Abreu hits, and hits a lot. He's consistent, is arbitration eligible the next two seasons, doesn't have a long-term deal, has power, and hits exceptionally well with runners on base and in scoring positing throughout his career.
Based on the market, I expect Chicago's ask will remain super high until free-agent first baseman, like Hosmer, Santana, Logan Morrison, etc., begin signing new deals. Until then, the White Sox know they have the next-best option with a guy that comes with only a two-year commitment.
The White Sox have been on a roll making terrific trades for their franchise during the last two years. They're clearly in a rebuilding mode, but is that about to turn? When do they intend on competing? If they're still eyeing three or five years down the road and want a bunch of prospects, will the Mets struggle to match up in trade?
Chicago is ready to beef up the 25-man roster during the next year or so. That means the ask on Abreu could be for under-team-control, big-league talent, in which case the Mets may be in good position.
Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo, Steven Matz, Dominic Smith, Juan Lagares and others should be appealing to the White Sox because they all are under contract or team control. How many of these names -- and possible other prospects -- will be needed to get Abreu? I don't know. The point is, the Mets should have the parts to be in the conversation.
However, for now, I'm undecided about how such a trade compares to giving Santana a five-year deal, or Morrison a three-year deal, or Adam Lind a one or two-year deal? In either case, it's clearly worth exploring before Abreu is sent to Boston...