After Paul Goldschmidt extension, Jose Abreu rises to top

In the matter of one day, Eloy Jimenez’s extension dropped down to the third-most recent one reportedly signed.

In between, Blake Snell and the Rays went the way of Alex Bregman and the Astros, signing an extension after publicly griping about the meagerness of his renewal contract. The Cy Young winner is now under contract for five years and $50 million.

Then Paul Goldschmidt removed himself from the free agent market, as he and the Cardinals are finalizing a five-year, $130 million extension that will make him the highest-paid player in St. Louis history.

With Goldschmidt out of the way, that leaves Jose Abreu as the top free agent first baseman on the market, but what does that even mean anymore for a 33-year-old? Two years ago, Carlos Santana signed what was considered a light deal with the Phillies at three years and $60 million, which started with his age-32 season. That seems like the high end of a potential Abreu deal now, doesn’t it?

This is probably the kind of speculative angst that leads to Goldschmidt signing a J.D. Martinez-plus deal when he’s not a DH, but the game’s best all-around first baseman.

I suppose it could lead to Abreu and the White Sox doing the same thing, and it wouldn’t entirely surprise me because of the mutual affection and appreciation. However, considering Abreu battled the worst slump of his career and had his rally stymied by a couple of injuries, it doesn’t strike me as the best time for either side to sign up. Then again, there may not be a great time for Abreu, which brings us back to “speculative angst.”

Speaking of which, it’s also not a great time to be a team that needs to augment its roster with impact talent from the outside. Such a team is watching future free agent options fall by the wayside day after day (Ken Rosenthal says the Astros are working on Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole).

There will still be players who don’t get extended for one reason or another, whether because they’re too talented for their circumstances (Manny Machado, Francisco Lindor, maybe?) or because the market shuns them (Dallas Keuchel). The former players will find a way to get paid, but players who slip through the cracks due to the latter have to fight against becoming self-fulfilling prophecies. For instance, if Keuchel signs super-late then disappoints, the results will support the idea that he was a depreciating asset, even if the weird offseason contributed more than its fair share to his struggles.

This is no fun for anybody except the owners, and it wouldn’t surprise me if more players try to lock in all the guaranteed money they can to weather a rough outlook and a drastic revision to the system in 2021. The White Sox are left to hope that:

  1. They solve enough roster gaps with internal talent
  2. They develop enough excess at positions for trading purposes, or
  3. They get a whole lot better at pro scouting than they have been.

Not one of these feels like a great bet at this point, which is why the approach of Opening Day feels flatter than ever. Counting on the White Sox to generate their own excitement is never the soundest of bets.

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Jim Margalus
Jim Margalus

Writing about the White Sox for a 16th season, first here, then at South Side Sox, and now here again. Let’s talk curling.

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It’s almost certain now that for this rebuild to be successful, almost all the heavy lifting is going to have to be done by the players who are now part of the organization. It certainly doesn’t seem they will spend big money on free agents (there may be no good ones left anyway). And they have not been good at judging proven major league talent, whether in trades or free agency. I guess it could happen- Kansas City is the best example of a team that relied almost exclusively on players they drafted or acquired as prospects. But somehow, I think this front office will screw this up. They certainly haven;t given us any reason to think they won’t.


They’ll have to sign him for PR purposes if nothing else. Which means he’ll have his career year in 2019.


Im extremely confident the whitesox brass will make the wrong choice on an Abreu extention.

If I was in charge I would hold firm on a 3 year 45 mil contract if Jose has a normal 2019 season.


check that, i would actually probably only be at 2 years for 30


Yeah, I love Jose, but he’s been slumping lately and 1B/DH power bats have been going for nothing in recent offseasons.

As someone mentioned elsewhere in this thread, they can offer him a QO at the end of the season and he’d probably take it. So any offer has to be compared to signing him for ~18-19m and 1 year.

John SF

is there some version we could give him that’s like 8-years and 50 million and keeps in in our system the rest of his life?

Like $10 million guaranteed each of the next 3 years (ages 32-35), and $5 million per year for the following 5 years (ages 35-40) with $2 million buyouts for each non-guaranteed year.

Basically, it would be an overpay based on the current market, but not by much. It would double the amount of money Abreu has already earned once you account for how much of his signing bonus was stolen from him by shady recruitment.

In exchange, the White Sox get a real bargain if Abreu ages super gracefully the way some smart hard working high avg power hitters do (I’m thinking of guys like Nelson Cruz and Big Papi).

More likely, we just lock up Abreu until he is done playing baseball. We pay that extra premium to never have to see Jose in anyone else’s uniform.

And we probably get to convert the end of his salary into a LatAm / front-office / player development / hitting coach / “Cuban ambassador” type job.

AND, if the Sox somehow win a world series during Abreu’s last few years, maybe he gets a statue or we retire his number or both.

It’s a good solution right?


Not that I would try to screw with him, but I was thinking 2 for 26 with an option for 14. 3 for 40 seems more in like with FA spending right now…

Josh Nelson

While the outfield sucks today, six of the White Sox top 10 prospects are outfielders. Depending on how things progress in 2019, I think it would be worthwhile to move some of them in exchange for proven major league talent.


Yes, that is the ideal situation. Let’s hope that several of the young guys have good years this year, which would make a few of them tradeable for some real talent. We also have some potential trade chips in the pitching ranks, with Pilkington, Steiver, Henzman and Johnson. Packaging a couple of outfielders with a pitcher should be able to net a proven, quality major leaguer. Of course, counting on Hahn to accurately assess who is a quality, proven major leaguer is taking a big leap of faith.


I know it is hard to speculate who is going to be available a year or two from now in the trade market but what teams do we think will most likely be rebuilding or have expendable pieces? Also, what position do we think the White Sox would prioritize when looking for a major league talent?

Josh Nelson

One player in particular is Starling Marte. I think he could provide a similar impact like Lorenzo Cain did for the Brewers. He has two club options for 2020 at $11.5 million and 2021 at $12.5 million.


im keeping an eye on blake snell, if tampa doesnt win in their mini window right now and 2020, i could see him being a monster trade target with huge value given the contract extension he just signed,

sox in theory could have the farm system needed to land him and lefty front line pitching is kind of important

Josh Nelson

That would be bizarre for Tampa to sign Snell to a very team-friendly deal and then proceed to trade him.

I mean, what team would do that…




again this is 2 or 3 years down the road but… its not hard to imagine tampa being in a rebuild and moving an extremely valuable asset


The way TB is set up long term, I think it’s more likely the Sox window closes and they acquire Eloy to jumpstart our 3rd rebuild.


LOL im not ruling anything out anymore I have zero hope or expectations from this ownership/front office group


Alternately, 2022 might come around with the next Sox owner hiring Chaim Bloom to be president of baseball operations.


Who of the OF batch do you think has the most trade value? As of now I’d order it (excluding Eloy)

1 – Robert

2 – Adolfo

3 – Basabe

4 – Rutherford/Gonzalez/Walker

Those last 3 I’m not sure bring a lot back in return so I think it’s picking 1 or 2 of the first 3 to keep. I kinda lean keeping Adolfo actually.


No way I would sign Abreu to an extension now.
He’s had extended slumps each of the last 2 years, the Sox can still offer him a QO after the season if he’s good(which I think he’d accept) and between Eloy, Adolfo, Collins, Burger and Sheets (or Vaughn?) they SHOULD have 1B/DH locked up for a long time.
Or, if they must play in the FA market, go after JDM when he opts out.


I agree, and I’m not convinced that an extension for Goldie moves the needle a ton on a 1B/DH bat like Abreu.


This off-season insists on routinely reminding me how badly the White Sox screwed up the free agent market and how poorly run the franchise is. 

Only the White Sox could so colossally screw things up that extending Eloy doesn’t even move the needle for me.  


Well once he and Cole are locked up the FO will officially have sealed our fate of being bad for another decade. I really hoped they could get Sale back, so much for that.


With all these extensions happening, it just further emphasizes what a colossal mistake the F/O made in not getting Machado or Harper. Can they get any worse?


Does anyone really think he would have come back?


No way the Sox would have paid him. And he probably wouldn’t play for Jerry and Kenny anyway.


I have to imagine the Red Sox will be willing to pay him the big money he deserves. Good for him.


Rumored 5/150. Fair for both sides, if true.


Or using Kennyspeak, around one seventh of a billion dollars.


So that leaves who for pitching next year? Maybe Bumgarner?


Rodon, Giloito, Cease, Kopech, Lopez and they’ll tell us Pilkington, Lambert and Medeiros are knocking on the door.


Longenhagen threw some cold water at us today, eh Josh?

Josh Nelson

I’m ok to say I think he’s wrong about Bobby Witt.


BA seems to be more convinced about the hit tool than FG. So you have highly trusted sources agreeing with you.
I asked if the Sox had a rule against drafting high schoolers and he went full snark on me.

Josh Nelson

He’s a snarky dude.

lil jimmy

and yet BA mocked Witt to the Sox yesterday.


They were all like, “Oh, we’re the White Sox! With the third overall selection in the 2019 draft, we select Bobby Witt, Jr., hurr durr!”

lil jimmy

The idea that they will draft Andrew Vaughn because he is in college, makes me grind my teeth at night. A 5′ 10″ right handed slow, first base only player with the third pick…..


Who’s getting “great leadership skills” attributed to him? The slow corner who gets that, that’s our guy.


This team needs “great leadership skills”. Not on the field but in the front office.


See, Rick is spending that money!! They just signed Alcides Escobar. He’s almost as good as Machado.


Does Escobar going to Charlotte mean Jose Rondon will break camp with the Sox?


They’ll release him to make room for Escobar.


The way 2020 fre angency is shaping up it looks like the Sox massively fucked up on Manny. And I have no confidence in Hahn drafting his way out of this…


2016 the Sox got off to a fast start. Then the center fielder and second baseman got hurt. Bj and Carlos were there replacement and we traded for big game James. And we have not recovered. We traded away a top prospect and our center field replacement can’t hit. In order to be ready for 2020 Cease and Robert should be getting on the job training, so that they could be ready when we except to win. Talent should trump age. If tatis Jr was still with us his ETA would be2021. Lets get the rebuild behind us and start being a power.


If the Sox didn’t sign any free agents Abreu would be their second best hitter each of the next 3 years, at least. Sign him to an extension!

As Cirensica

Abreu might end up being the best free agent to be next year


Couple thoughts on 25 man roster…

If Palka continues to scuffle, I can see them putting him in Charlotte to start the year. Hard to believe after last year but if they had to make the decision today I think Delmonico would stay up over Palka.

On White Sox Talk podcast, Cooper was talking about Nate Jones and while he didn’t seem worried about his health, he left the door open for him being held back when the season starts.

What do you think the delay is in announcing Eloy? Physical?


Angels announcers: “No offense to Yermin Mercedes, but that might be the worst swing I’ve seen all Spring.”


I don’t have a tiny violin. I need a whole tiny horn section for this Tower of Dour. Some of you writing us off for a decade already? Y’all are making me go to my political sites to cheer up.

Not to delurk and flounce, mind you. I’m too hooked for that. But isn’t it a good life to sit around and watch ballgames for eight months? Every year, twenty-nine teams and all their fans get to watch someone else win, and I can’t get enough. If my team sucks, my team sucks. Wouldn’t be the first team it happened to. But I’m a White Sox fan, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Play ball.

Mid-July. Sec. 116, please


As the 2016 season began collapsing under its own weight, and the prospect of a direction changing rebuild became more likely, I found myself going down rabbit holes of articles on Sox history. This article from dulcet toned friend of the podcast, Rob Hart, about the missed opportunities for the Sox to find a new, more profitable stadium location that would have, if nothing else, spared us decades of being on the receiving end of architectural snobbery. This set of articles from Mark Liptak about near misses and blown opportunities over the years. And this article (again, from Rob Hart), about the Sox missing out on a well heeled owner who couldn’t seal the deal for the Sox, but would go on to build championship teams for the 49ers and Penguins. All of them stories about how the Sox missed out on great opportunities to build a more glorious history than the long line of low grade frustration we all know (and love!).

As I read through these articles (with the benefit of hindsight, obviously) I was struck by how many times things could have gone so much better, and how, in those earlier years, without our hyper-connected, 24-hour newscycle, Sox fans might not have immediately known how wrong a turn they took, or how great an opportunity passed them by.

But right now, we know. As well as we can know anything about the future in this game. So if so many of us are still staring at the floor and muttering curses, well, it’s not often that you have the misfortune to see a massive, avoidable catastrophe, and recognize it for what it is.