Jose Abreu, White Sox
After going through what has been one of the biggest sell-offs in recent memory, first baseman Jose Abreu may be the last trade piece left for White Sox GM Rick Hahn. Heading into his walk year, it makes little sense for the White Sox to keep Abreu around, other than perhaps being a mentor to felly countryman Yoan Moncada.
With that said, moving Abreu will not be easy given the low demand for the first baseman in the market. Once Eric Hosmer signs, one more team will have filled their hole at the position, further shrinking the market for Abreu’s services. For these reasons, it is likely that the White Sox will have to wait for the market to develop as the season goes on, making Abreu a prime deadline trade option.
Since entering the league as 28 year old, Abreu has done nothing but hit. Abreu has averaged just under 30 home runs and 100 RBIs per season since debuting in 2015, ranking him 8th among MLB first baseman in wrC+ in that timeframe. By far the biggest flaw in Abreu’s game is his lackluster defense at first base, making him an option for a team that would like to improve at designated hitter as well. Whether he is acquired to be a designated hitter or to play every day at first base, the team that acquires Abreu will be getting one of the premier offensive first baseman in the league and a player who can comfortably slot into the middle of any batting order.
Suitors: Red Sox
Red Sox Receive: Jose Abreu (1B)
White Sox Receive:
Cole Brannen (OF) (#9 Prospect)
Austin Maddox (RHP) (#27 Prospect)
International Bonus Pool Money
The Red Sox have gone from having one of the best farm systems in the game to one of the worst, due in large part to the top prospects they sent to White Sox in the Chris Sale trade. Although the Red Sox lack organizational depth, the asking price won’t be too lofty with Abreu just being a half year rental.
This deal won’t happen if the Red Sox choose to sign Eric Hosmer instead of J.D. Martinez this offseason, but the signing of Mitch Moreland all but eliminated that possibility. It is likely that either Moreland or designated hitter Hanley Ramirez will struggle, which will force GM Dave Dombrowski to address the 1B/DH spot at the deadline.
Other Trade Candidates (1B):
Miguel Cabrera (DET)
Brandon Moss (KC)