José Abreu’s potential last game with White Sox resembles so many others

Last time José Abreu wended his way through a contract year, he told everybody that he’d re-sign himself to the White Sox no matter what, and the White Sox rewarded him with a three-year contract that struck a lot of people as bidding against themselves. Even Rick Hahn remarked that they wouldn’t use it as a case study in business school for either side.

Three years later, Abreu and the White Sox are at the same crossroads before the final game of the season. If both sides make more traditional, interest-oriented decisions this time around, today will be Abreu’s last game on the South Side.

Abreu’s strange insistence on remaining a White Sox back in 2019 had a charming quality, and while it was refreshing to hear sincere sentiment rise above business talks, it was also kinda true. Abreu could sign himself, as long as the White Sox issued him the $17.8 million qualifying offer. The only question was whether he’d be settling for a one-year deal by going that route, but the White Sox eventually overrode it with a three-year, $50 million extension that neither side regrets.

Abreu can’t be issued a qualifying offer again, so when he actually enters free agency this time around, he’ll do so with no strings attached. That’s perhaps one of the reasons why he hasn’t engaged in such rhetoric.

“Because I already know the process,” Abreu said through an interpreter when asked whether he’s not promising to come back to the White Sox as he had in years past. “I’m just thankful and loyal to Jerry (Reinsdorf). He gave me the opportunity to play here and I appreciate that. I always will be grateful for that opportunity. Like I said, I am a White Sox. I’ll be a White Sox tomorrow. We’ll see.”

There’s also a lot more writing on the wall, whether it’s the presence of three other 1B/DH types on the roster (Andrew Vaughn, Eloy Jiménez, Gavin Sheets), or the fact that Abreu has closing out his age-35 season with just one homer over his last 55 games. He’s done a remarkable job of compensating around the drop-off in home-run power — .310/.372/.386 is the prettiest kind of slump — but it’s hard to commit to a 15-homer first baseman at Guaranteed Rate Field.

What complicates matters is that Abreu is the only one who held up his end of the bargain in succession planning. Back in July, after a game where Abreu went 4-for-4 while the rest of the lineup went 3-for-31 with 15 strikeouts, I wrote that no White Sox were stepping up to take the baton from Abreu. Andrew Vaughn had the best claim at the time, but he’s closing out his season with a .238/.290/.388 second half. Eloy Jiménez has since stepped up, but if you combine his plate appearances from the last two years, it’ll come up more than 100 short of Abreu’s total from 2022 alone.

Some White Sox have talent, some White Sox have durability, but Abreu’s the only one who shown both on any reliable basis. The timing is such that Abreu will still probably be the odd man out, which is why there remains a sense of disbelief and unfairness no matter how simple the math.

Taking the only stable presence out of the White Sox lineup looks like a terribly counterproductive decision. Then again, when a 36-year-old Abreu still looks like a structural necessity to the lineup and clubhouse seven years after starting a scorched-earth rebuild, the White Sox might need the absence of Abreu to confront how they developed so few fixtures, even if the conclusion is that everybody took Abreu for granted.

When Abreu signed his three-year deal, everybody dreamed of his loyalty being rewarded with a championship, or at least an American League pennant. Instead, the team gave him two whole postseason home games, and Abreu is closing out a brilliant nine-year run of Hall-of-Fame-caliber consistency by being one of the few things about the White Sox that doesn’t suck. You might say his career has come full circle, but I’m not sure the White Sox ever really went anywhere.

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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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GrinnellSteve

Cairo said Abreu would sit today. I hope they give him a pinch-hit appearance or put him at first and then pull him after 1 batter or let him take the lineup card to the plate. Fans should be allowed to show their appreciation.

roke1960

Yes, Abreu must get a curtain call today. What a valiant performer for the last 9 years. He deserves much better than to be stuck with this franchise. I’m pretty sure he’s gone.

knoxfire30

The 2023 lineup is gonna be lit!

  1. Anderson SS
  2. Moncada 3rd
  3. Robert CF
  4. Jiminez DH
  5. Sheets LF
  6. Vaughn 1B
  7. Grandal C
  8. Colas RF
  9. Sosa 2nd
joewho112

That’s worse than this year’s lineup

dwjm3

Which would be on brand. Jerry hasn’t given any indication that improvement is mandated. Afterall, we have a GM that is 100 games under .500

Last edited 2 months ago by dwjm3
Wayne

No playoff revenue means you have to cut payroll.

upnorthsox

Wow, depressing.

itaita

Honestly wouldn’t be the worst lineup in the AL. The problem is how many games will they even play together.

dwjm3

Don’t rationalize it…It would be a ridiculous lineup for a team in a major market that is supposed to be right in its window.

knoxfire30

Its pretty funny to look at that and realize its the prime contend window….

Im setting my expectations at absolute rock bottom. Trades, Free agents, The Managerial Hire… all of it… im not even contemplating them doing things that are reasonable.

dwjm3

I agree…We have to assume the worst as that is typically what the organization delivers. We all tried to have some hope that this time was different when the organization embarked on this rebuild, but at this point there is no reason to believe

Last edited 2 months ago by dwjm3
roke1960

Again, it would be best if Hahn does nothing this offseason. If he does anything, history shows that he will only make the club worse.

chipporter

Ahh, the ole, Don’t think meat, it only hurts the team., Mgt school.

upnorthsox

Worst lineup in the AL is a pretty low bar to clear. 7,8, and 9 are real ?? imo and Sheets in LF is another blah. Frankly, it looks like the kind of changes that assure a 3rd place finish.

roke1960

I’m thinking they’d have Pollock platooning in left and maybe a different 2nd baseman, but I’m pretty sure you’re right on about the rest. If Vaughn hits 5th, that’s potentially a very solid top 5, but of course they’ll probably only play about 10 games together all season.

knoxfire30

yea pollock could be the starter vs lefties for either colas or sheets, I am posting that lineup a bit in jest but I really do believe the roster changes will be minimal

texag10

$5.5M isn’t awful for another year of Harrison if we think a youngun is gonna force the issue sometime during the season

HallofFrank

I know the assumption is Pollock will be back. And I think that’s more likely than not. But I don’t think it’s a guarantee that he’ll opt-in. Here’s why:

The Sox *should* be planning on adding an OF. So Hahn should tell Pollock plainly: if you come back, you’re our 4th OF—and 5th OF when Colas is ready. Pollock probably can’t make $8m on the open market, but he probably can find a starting gig for $3m or something. And that would be his best avenue for recouping his value for next offseason. By opting out, he’d lose some money this year, but—unless he thinks he’s washed—he’d set himself up for a bigger payday next offseason. Again, I still think he’s likely to opt-in. But I don’t think it’s a guarantee.

hitlesswonder

I don’t see any way the Sox add an OF with more talent than Pollock unless they trade Vaughn. Plus Pollock must know that Robert will be on the IL….there’s likely plenty of at-bats for him next year.

Qubort

He’s set to make $12 million next year. I don’t think there’s going to be a bigger payday in the long term for AJ.

gibby32

He gets 5M even if he opts out, which changes the numbers and the options that he may have.

HallofFrank

The payday wouldn’t need to be that big to beat an opt-in. In the scenario I’m proposing, the options are basically:

Opt-in: $13m in ’23; no starting job and thus very little value in ’24.

Opt-out: $5m from Sox + $3-5m in open market = $8-10m in ’23; starting job and chance to reclaim some value.

I don’t think the answer is that clear. Opt-in is more guaranteed money (obviously), but it’s not a lot more (relatively) and the opt-in has more financial upside.

Foulkelore

I think it’s $13 million now, but what helps offset that is he still gets $5 million if he opts out. So, if he opted out and got $8 million next year somewhere else, it’d be a wash. So, between that and the non-monetary factors HoF mentions, it’s possible he opts out, though I also don’t think he will. If it was a straight $12/$13 million option with no money if he opts out, yeah, there would be no chance of him declining it.

BenwithVen

This why the incoming manager and staff is going to be so important. They’re going to need to squeeze as much out of this roster as the possibly can.

hitlesswonder

I’m surprised people are acting like this lineup is a joke. In fact it’s the most likely reality for 2023.

I mean, Pollock will have one of the OF spots but other than that I think it’s pretty spot on.

I think the Sox will trade Hendriks to clear salary and not sign Abreu and that will be about it.

They are two of the players I like most on the team, so I think it’s pretty much a lock that will happen.

Last edited 2 months ago by hitlesswonder
Wayne

Pollock at 4th OF for $13M too.

Chris

Abreu would be better served signing else where this time around. He bought in the Jerry’s B/S and was not rewarded. If he truly wants a WS ring, he won’t get it on the Southside.

Sox should have traded him at the deadline to a contender. But this time around with FA all bets should be off. He still has some gas left in the tank. So, go to a legit contender and try for that ring.

As Cirensica

I honestly believe the White Sox will resign Abreu. Hahn mentions there will be trades. I think Hahn will trade Sheets, and maybe Hendriks. And he will try to trade Grandal, and maybe Andrew Vaughn. We will keep Eloy, and he will be our DH.

It is quite possible that Hahn will retain both, Abreu (1B) and Vaughn (LF), and see how that works out during the first half of 2023 with some GMs on speed dial ready for a 1B trade. I can see the outfield during 2023 being manned by a combination of Pollock/Vaughn/Robert/Colas. Engel can start packing tonight.

Infield will be Sosa, Yoan, Timmy, and Abreu.

Hahn should focus on getting a starting pitcher which in my opinion, should be his highest priority.

texag10

I mean, I get that Hendriks has value but that would basically gut our bullpen unless you think Crochet will come back and be lights out immediately.

upnorthsox

It’s 16 months for the protocol to run it’s course. That puts him past the AS break before full strength at best. And how does that make him your closer? Talk about leap of faith!

knoxfire30

Gravemen would be the closer if they trade Hendrix. I dont see that happening in the off season though it feels like thats a deadline move if the team is off to a bad start in 2023

As Cirensica

Rey Lopez for closing duties. He was a lot better than Hendriks this year.

T Cods

Agree, give Reynaldo a shot, his 2022 was better than Hendriks. The bottom line is that a team as budget conscious as the white sox can not allocate that much $$ to a closer. My offseason plan had us trading Liam. Nothing against him as a player, but when dealing with budget constraints, it’s all about optimizing where you spend the $. Finding an effective, low cost option at closer is easier than penny-pinching on OF, 2B, etc.

T Cods

my offseason trade proposal:
No. 1: Trade Liam Hendriks to NYY for Joey Gallo, Nestor Cortes and Clay Holmes. As mentioned before, we simply can’t afford this much of our payroll invested in a closer, no matter how good he is. Gallo fills need in RF, and we add two good arms to bullpen for cheap.

Don’t know if NYY would have bit. Gallo’s season was a disaster, although he would have led us in HR. Cortes & Holmes would have been an outstanding haul in retrospect, obviously.

Last edited 2 months ago by T Cods
patrick

Unless I missed something, you’re going to have a hard time negotiating with the Yankees for Gallo

T Cods

this was last offseason’s plan

texag10

Everyone keeps talking about getting rid of Hendriks like it’s so easy to find a closer when we just went through this crap with Colome 2 years ago that led us to signing Hendriks.

As Cirensica

Colome was actually good

chipporter

I really like ReyRey for long relief. I believe we’ll have a need to fill.

Foulkelore

Number one goal for the offseason: create a team that doesn’t rely on Vaughn being anywhere near the outfield (so either trade him or commit to him as DH/1B only).

metasox

I have to think in any rational world that comments like the one from Hendriks about team defense, the metrics, his health and the obvious problem we all can see will finally get Vaughn out of the outfield.

Foulkelore

Oh, if only Sox fans could feel confident about that qualifier at the beginning of your sentence.

patrick

I think another goal is to not rely on Vaughn to be one of your best offensive players. He’s kind of just OK and seems to slump a lot.

Qubort

Yes, that 24 year old who’s been asked to skipped minor leagues and play out of position with a oWar of 1.8 is just OK. This is why the Sox never develop players. They aren’t set up to succeed. Their put in ridiculous situations that they have to overcome.

As Cirensica

Yup… Vaughn has talent or at least worth your while talent, and I would hate it too see it in another organization.

ForsterFTOG

Didn’t skip the minor leagues and has 1000 mlb at bats. Does minor league experience really matter anymore when evaluating Vaughn?

metasox

He played all of 55 games in ’19 and whatever he did in ’20. He never got to build up to a pro schedule workload, and that may have contributed to him wearing down these first two seasons.

Last edited 2 months ago by metasox
chipporter

I believe we’ll see the kind of offensive increase that we did when Moncada moved from second. It’s going to be interesting to find out.

upnorthsox

How is a starter the biggest priority? We need a 5, there are plenty of 5s on the market this winter. We didn’t get our 5th starter until the end of ST this year and it ended up being our best addition in years. Honestly, we are the only team in our division with a 4th. Just sign Q for Cueto/VV dollars and be done with it.

metasox

If you put a question mark next to Kopech, are unsure what to expect from Giolito, remove Cueto and consider Martin to be depth, then another solid starter makes sense. That also assumes Lynn will holld up the bulk of the season. Team could also use more depth based at AAA, but that is a recurring problem the Sox have avoided by having a reasonably healthy rotation

Last edited 2 months ago by metasox
upnorthsox

Why am I paralyzing the whole rotation for no reason? What if Cease regresses? Might as well put a ? next to him too. It’s not about whether another solid starter would be nice to have, obviously it would. It’s about whether its a priority which its not.

metasox

That’s fine. I disagree. I would treat Kopech as a 5, assuming the Sox plan to keep him in the rotation, and at least look for a reliable #4 (that’s effectively a Cueto replacement), but ideally more of a mid-rotation caliber pitcher (again, pretty much what Cueto provided). And that assumes the Sox are comfortable with Giolito

Last edited 2 months ago by metasox
calcetinesblancos

Don’t forget Davis Martin. He throws strikes.

upnorthsox

Him too, if he wins the spot out of ST then so be it.

calcetinesblancos

Or we could just trade Giolito and then give Davis his spot lol.

ChiSoxND12

Cleveland has 5 capable starters and we all know if they needed more than that they’d get it, from within

texag10

It’s kind of interesting seeing what appears to me to be diverging views on the rotation and starting lineup. I think a decent chunk of the fanbase views 2022 Moncada as what he’ll be going forward but it sounds like 2022 is just a blip and he’ll revert even somewhat back to form next season. Right now, Lynn is still really good but health is a concern. Cease is really really really good but we’ve seen with Giolito that there is no guarantee he can maintain it in addition to just being a pitcher in general. Giolito is a giant question mark going into next season. Is he a 5 ERA pitcher or 3 ERA pitcher? I have no clue. Can Kopech handle a full starter’s load next year? Davis Martin isn’t a bad option for a 5th starter but we can do better. There’s definitely logic to signing another pitcher to slot in to the 3/4 spot after Cease/Lynn to either extend the advantage we have or cover for Giolito if he struggles again next year.

As Cirensica

I believe if Hahn does not add another starter we are fucked. It has to be his main priority. We have absolutely no depth. We have Cease, Lynn, Martin, Giolito, and Kopech. If one gets down, we have….checks notes….yup…nobody

charlie

Agree with a SP and hopefully front line at that.
Would Rick reach out to Rodon and if so would Carlos
even listen?

Wayne

Need a 3 if you consider Giolito toast (I don’t), and Kopeck a Question. That is counting on Lynn to be a 2.

Qubort

I’m still baffled why Sheets is even mentioned in this “1B logjam” or in trades. Other teams don’t typically search the league to trade for guys that are a negative half game of WAR. The fact Sheets is considered a professional ball player by this team, shows how low the expectations are.

calcetinesblancos

Well those other teams probably wouldn’t play him in the outfield either.

upnorthsox

What team plays a platoon 1B though? I think he has some value as a LHH bat off the bench but its limited and requires some versatility. He’s one of those players who you are always looking to upgrade but if you’re stuck with him when the music stops playing it could be worse (like no LHH at all).

Last edited 2 months ago by upnorthsox
As Cirensica

What team plays a platoon 1B though?

Tampa? I heard they win consistently.

karkovicefanclub

I know it’s off topic – but why did Giolito say he has one more year here? Doesn’t he have 2 years until free agency?

Also what this team clearly needs is a culture they can rally around. Hopefully whoever they bring in can supply it because without Abreu there will be a leadership void. (Not that he supplied it this year)

metasox

Giolito has only one arb year remaining

calcetinesblancos

It probably boils down to the role Abreu wants on a team. Does he want to play 1B every day? That probably won’t be happening on the Sox unless they trade Vaughn, which I hope they don’t. But with a streamlined roster, I would totally take Abreu as a 1B/DH/bench bat.

upnorthsox

The way you have to look at it is that he’s a low priority signing and only after you’ve decided what you are doing with everyone else can you go back and see if he still has a spot on the team to fill. Making him a priority is forcing your hand/limiting your options unnecessarily.

HallofFrank

I have a hard time getting excited about moving from Abreu to Vaughn, since Vaughn has been substantially worse offensively and substantially less durable. Maybe moving from “OF” to 1B would do wonders for him? But right now, that’s not a gamble I want to make, even if Abreu costs $15m more. If they can get a comparable player at a different position, I absolutely hope they trade Vaughn.

soxfan

By what standard is Vaughn “substantially less durable”? He was on the IL in April/May if memory serves but he still racked up over 500 ABs playing out of position most of the season. Abreu is seemingly always available, but Vaughn is far from Jimenez in terms of durability.

HallofFrank

In addition to the IL stint, he apparently needed several days off (and suffered hampered production) for tired legs. I’m willing to chalk most of that up to playing the OF, but not all of it. The returns are early, but early returns suggest he’s not an especially durable player. But he’s only “substantially less durable” in comparison to Abreu, who is exceptionally durable. This isn’t meant to be a slight to Vaughn, but rather a comment on Abreu’s durability.

Qubort

Vaughn has more home runs in 100 less at bats. He’s also 24 and skipped the minor leagues. I’d much rather see if he contiunes to develop over a 36 year old who struggled to get to 15 home runs.

steelydan52

Yes to this. Sox can’t trade Vaughn to keep Abreu. It doesn’t make sense. I love what Abreu has meant but it’s time to saddle him up and sing Gene Autry songs while he rides off. I think when Jim mentioned all the DH’s he forgot to mention Grandal. If this guy comes back as the catcher then the Sox are hurting. So we keep Abreu and trade Vaughn for 1 more year of Abreu? I don’t think so. Then something has to be done with either Sheets, Jimenez or Grandal and Jimenez has to be the DH and either one of the other 2 will be the left handed DH when Jimenez needs a break. What a tangled web they’ve weaved.

roke1960

Agreed. As much as I like Jose, they have to let him walk. 24 year old who had no minor league experience and forced out of position his first two years in the league vs. 36 year old who is coming off a career low (by far) in HRs. Vaughn will be a legitimate middle of the order bat for many years. Abreu has become a very good singles hitter. I don’t think there is a question as to what they should do.

HallofFrank

You’re reminding me of Rick Hahn with this… questionable framing. I can just as easily frame it the opposite: a 24-year-old who still has durability concerns and is a bat-only 1B with a .756 OPS in his 2nd full MLB season vs. one of the most consistent offensive forces in the AL for several years and far-and-away the Sox best offensive player in 2023.

And what does it say about Vaughn that this “very good singles hitter” has a higher slugging % than him?

HallofFrank

You may think otherwise, but it’s foolish to say that it “doesn’t make sense.” How does it not make sense to both (a) keep the player that was demonstrably better this season and (b) trade the player with significantly greater trade value? That makes an exceptional amount of sense, in fact, even if there are other factors to consider.

I will add that this plan is predicated on getting fair value from Vaughn. The Sox shouldn’t move Vaughn unless they can get a really good, young, MLB-ready player at a different position. But I think they can.

funkerdan

not to mention in that 100 less at bats having 1 more RBI. I’d like to see what he can do and not regret resigning Abreu. Yes, I would think Abreu will decline.

HallofFrank

And yet Abreu was notably better offensively.

Abreu: 138 wRC+, .361 wOBA, .372 xwOBA, .824 OPS
Vaughn: 115 wRC+, .329 wOBA, .320 xwOBA, .756 OPS

I can’t justify taking the worse offensive player for just a few more HR. If Vaughn had hit, or was on pace to hit, 30+ home runs or something, that might be different. Because I understand that HRs are valuable and it may be worth sacrificing offensive ability elsewhere to get them. But we’re talking about Vaughn hitting one more home run. And if you want to pretend he got 100 more ABs, then we’d be talking about 3-4 more home runs than Abreu. It’s not nothing. But it’s not worth making the switch as long as this big of an offensive gap exists.

Plus it’s worth adding: he actually did have 100 less at-bats and that matters. One strong point in Abreu’s favor is durability.

calcetinesblancos

You don’t think it’s a gamble to assume a 36 year old baseball player won’t regress?

HallofFrank

The double negative is throwing me off and I’m too tired to work out this question, but I think you’re asking something like: shouldn’t we expect Abreu to regress? And I think the answer to that is: yes, but that shouldn’t answer the question. The current gap between Abreu and Vaughn is large enough that Vaughn could take a step forward and Abreu could take a step back and Abreu would still be the better player.

If forced, here’s what I’d bet on: Abreu will be better than Vaughn in 2023 (though a smaller gap than in ’22) and Vaughn will be oh-so-slightly better in 2024. But I think Abreu is better (and more durable) in the aggregate and Vaughn’s got a ton of trade value.

roke1960

You don’t really make sense. You talk about how Vaughn isn’t durable and he only OPSd .766, and yet he has a ton of trade value??? A not very durable first baseman who can’t even OPS .800 has not much trade value. Vaughn is worth much more to the Sox than he is to other teams. He is not going to fetch a good starter or a hard hitting good defensive outfielder. I know that, and I want to keep him. I would much rather have Vaughn’s next potential 4 years than Abreu for 1 or 2 years.

HallofFrank

To be clear, my response to you was to show how easily you could form a biased framing the other way. I think Vaughn is a good player and asset (like I said above). I think he’s got potential and he’s under control for 4 years. Like I’ve said elsewhere, it’s a difficult decision and if they decide to go with Vaughn I’ll be content (as long as they allocate Abreu’s money well elsewhere). But, for several reasons, I think Abreu (and trading Vaughn) is a better way to go.

And for the record: I’m not so much down on Vaughn’s durability (which is probably average-ish) as I am high on Abreu’s durability.

roke1960

I agree that I sounded a little like Rick Hahn in my earlier post! I should be fired! If they keep Jose and trade Vaughn, it wouldn’t be the worst thing to happen. But I don’t think Vaughn has enough trade value to get a solid everyday player at a corner outfield spot in return for him. And the $15M that they save with Jose could be used better than for a 36-year old first baseman. I hope Jose does what is best for himself. And at this point I think what is best for him is to try to sign with a real contender- one that doesn’t have Rick Hahn as GM.

steelydan52

What’s funny about you being fired is ALL of us in here have a better record than Hahn. And we don’t get paid. A .000 record is better that 117 games under, isn’t it?

steelydan52

I’m not against Abreu but I am against trading a youthful power hitter that was forced to play out of position, numerous positions, than I would be paying Abreu again. If the Sox bought out Grandal (they won’t) then the logjam clears some. Sheets, for what he’s worth, is a 1B/DH. Jimenez is a DH. Keeping Abreu only works if they clear either Grandal or Sheets. I’m good with a 1 year deal for Abreu if that happens. As has been well stated on this site Grandal has to go 1 way or another. But they can’t trade Vaughn. Injuries is one thing none of us can predict.

HallofFrank

Why can’t they trade Vaughn? I’m genuinely curious to see how Sox fans suggest solving the problems in the OPP. They aren’t going to have the money to spend to fill their holes well, so they are going to have to change the roster through trades. Hahn’s already said as much, by the way. But who are they going to trade? Very few players on this roster have substantial trade value. Vaughn is one of them. And he just so happens to be at a position that they don’t need. I agree that they shouldn’t trade him unless they can get fair value for him. But they should absolutely shop him to find creative solutions for this roster. Otherwise, we’re looking at running it back… just without their consensus best offensive player from 2022.

Joliet Orange Sox

I am not planning on getting into this whole debate about whom to trade in the offseason but I don’t think Vaughn is the consensus best offensive player from 2022.

Vaughn’s OPS+ was 111 while Eloy was at 140 and Abreu was at 133. One could perhaps argue that Eloy missed enough time to make Vaughn’s year better (an argument that I think is tough to make) but I think Abreu was a clearly better offensive player than Vaughn in 2022 and I think that is the consensus as well.

Vaughn had a 0.666 OPS (88 OPS+) over the second half which is less than stellar.

HallofFrank

Sorry, I was referring to Abreu as the consensus best offensive player. I said they’d need to pursue creative solutions (like trading Vaughn) or otherwise they are running it back—just without Abreu. Some of Vaughn’s struggles are exactly why I think they should bring Abreu back.

Joliet Orange Sox

Then we agree on Vaughn’s 2022. Sorry I misread your post.

steelydan52

I get all of that. I really do but I don’t think, as stated before, that you trade a young power hitting 1B who I think we all feel will only get better for a good 1B who is on the downside of his career. I know Vaughn has trade value but you’re paying Peter to pay Paul doing that. I forget who stated it in here but the Sox are better off just tweaking or doing almost nothing. They have so many holes to fill that trading one of their best young players to keep Abreu for probably one more season just doesn’t cut it. So if they trade Vaughn and Abreu continues to slide then we have Sheets at 1B?
I really love all these conversations. We’re all right in our own minds!

HallofFrank

It’s not robbing Peter to pay Paul because, however you slice it, you’re moving on from one player to add elsewhere. Let’s assume for the sake of argument that “keep both” isn’t an option. That leaves two options:

(1) Re-sign Abreu; trade Vaughn for player(s) A
(2) Let Abreu walk; use $ to sign player(s) B

To determine which option is preferable, we must ask not only “Abreu or Vaughn?” but also “what’s the opportunity cost of keeping one and moving on from the other?” To my mind, the answers are clear: Abreu is better in the short-term and trading Vaughn does more to help the roster than spending $12-14m on the open market.

steelydan52

So many variables here. Firstly, we won’t know if Abreu is better short term since he will be 36 at the start of the new year. I’d love to predict that Abreu at 36 is going to be that much better than Vaughn at 25 AND playing his natural position. We just don’t know.
I respect your opinion HOF but I would go with plan B. Having said that we all saw Hahn say he won’t throw money around.
The easiest thing to do would be to sign Abreu for 1 year and figure out a way to get rid of Grandal and Sheets. Then I would understand keeping the Abreu/Vaughn combo. Course, we’d still have Jimenez to contend with.
Believe me, I’m not an Abreu hater. I also don’t know what Vaughn would bring back in a trade. I against trading him but if someone came in with a huge offer(it ain’t happening) then trade him.
And there’s this……………..depending on what the Yanks do with Rizzo I could see them offering Abreu better money than the Sox would.

Joliet Orange Sox

I’m agnostic on this entire Abreu/Vaughn debate. I’ve seen several references to first base as Vaughn’s natural position. Is he actually an adequate defensive first baseman? I’ve seen so little of him at first base that I don’t know. I’m sure he is not as bad at first base as he is in the outfield (where he is significantly worse than Gavin Sheets and Eloy Jiménez which is really saying something) but is he actually ok at first base? I’m sure there are evaluations from his college days.

steelydan52

I know it sounds like I’m bashing Abreu but I’m not. He had 11 errors this season. He’s not going to get better, probably, in any category.
Vaughn, I feel, can only get better. If he stays healthy and hits 25+ home runs and drives in 90+ and has maybe 8 errors next season then it’s worth letting Abreu walk. Of course, like so many conversations in here, it’s all speculative.

steelydan52

And I might add that for those that think he is close to being the only Sox with trade value that he better be a good 1B because we know he sucks in the OF and I don’t know how much a DH only brings back in a trade.

upnorthsox

Who are trading Vaughn for? State your trade, I have to know who.
I’m not against trading Vaughn but I’m not trading Vaughn to keep Abreu.

charlie

DO NOT trade Vaughn.
Shown to be one of so few potential cornerstones who thrives on getting big hits.

steelydan52

Sox have so many holes to fill. So many. If they are going to do another rebuild then no one is untouchable but they don’t need to rebuild. Keep Vaughn, Cease and Anderson and a few of their prospects. I’d also keep Jimenez but as DH only. Hope that Colas is ready. Now, I would trade Moncada but you’re probably not going to get much in return. We all know what they need but they don’t have enough trade material, minus the names I mentioned, to really better the team.
We HAVE to hope Hahn gets it right with the manager and then let whoever that is pick his own staff.

Papa Giorgio

Actually rooting for a loss for the first time this season. I need us to finish at a perfect 0.500 to encapsulate the mediocrity.

Berrys Wallbangers

It is time to move Timmy to Left Field and resign Elvis to play Shortstop.

hitlesswonder

No…Elvis has played well for the Sox but his age and past performance in know way justify spending the $10M on Andrus when they “don’t have that money” and if they did they should use it to sign an actual OF.

steelydan52

2 more wins than losses is still mediocre with this team. Let ’em win 1 more!

funkerdan

by a score of 22-0. If we’re not a .500 team by being 2 over, let’s be at 0 on the run differential.

Last edited 2 months ago by funkerdan
roke1960

The comments in here are why I am anxious to see everyone’s OPP. There are very good and differing ideas on how to make the Sox competitive next year. It’s just so unfortunate that none of our plans will be realized. Because we know Rick’s plan will be the worst of them all!

texag10

This might be the most creative year of OPPs in a long time given the apparent number of holdovers on the roster.

patrick

I also think interesting because it will focus heavily on trades. Or should. Last year we maybe thought they’d add an impact bat through FA, but I think we all understand the money was already spent and we’ll have to be creative in fixing the holes in the roster.

upnorthsox

It wasn’t though, we spent the same on AJ and Leury as we would’ve on Starling Marte and Marte was practically the same contract as we signed Yaz to so definitely possible/doable. Haniger, Nimmo, or Conforto, any of those should be similar $$ to what will come off the books with Jose.

texag10

The offseason was kinda fucked the second we picked up Kimbrel’s option, not that a lot of us didn’t already know that at the time.

upnorthsox

I would go back to the trade that got him here in the first place but yea picking up the option was the “That’s just stupid” moment which then led to the “we can’t do anything until we trade him” offseason.

texag10

I still wonder what would have happened had Kimbrel actually been allowed to close from day one. Most likely nothing, but that was such a shitshow and 100% on TLR.

upnorthsox

That was 100% on Hahn. If he needed to close then he shouldn’t have made the deal.

upnorthsox

It might be worst but it definitely will be least creative of them all.

PauliePaulie

Let. Abreu. Walk.

a-t

Abreu re-signing or not should depend entirely on $. If he’s open to coming back for about $10M/1y or less, maybe with like a team option for another year or whatever, take that and jettison Sheets in some way or another. 1B/DH + 40% of LF split between Vaughn, Abreu, and Eloy is probably the best answer going forward. Should be a 140ish wRC+ averaged between that trio. I am highly skeptical that Sheets or Burger or whoever will hit enough to replace Abreu’s bat, and also skeptical that Vaughn + Eloy (mostly the latter) will stay healthy enough to soak up virtually all of the 1B/DH PAs, which would then mean going from starting Jose and his 138 wRC+ to Sheets. Who should not be on the roster at all. Colás will get him permanently ensconced in Charlotte soon.

Would be nice to also jettison Pollock, but that might not be possible unless he opts out for whatever reason, and that still only saves $8M and a roster spot.

HallofFrank

That’s fair. I’m resigning Abreu for $12m in my OPP. But I think that’s one factor some fans haven’t yet considered: if they do bring Abreu back, it isn’t (or shouldn’t) be for the $19m. They’ll still save money with Abreu either way.

I will say I’m surprised that more Sox fans aren’t willing to trade Vaughn. I really do like Vaughn and, if the roster were constructed differently, I’d be delighted to keep him around. But they need to add good, young players elsewhere and Hahn’s all but confirmed that they won’t be doing it via free agency. Vaughn may be the only Sox player who has lots of trade value and is at a glutted position. He’s a RH hitting 1B who has exceptional trade value, but also hasn’t yet proved that he’ll be the middle-of-the-order force we all hope he will.

chambers.kevin

I’m going to disagree, I don’t think Jose Abreu is hall of fame worth at this time. I think he needs to put up another 3 – 4 WAR seasons, or put up 4 – 3 WAR seasons. I think part of HOF players, is longevity, yeah he came over here when he was older, but a HOF is usually 60 WAR (save a catcher). If he can get to around 44 to 46 career WAR yes. I just don’t see that happening.

steelydan52

Yeah, Frank Thomas ruined it for all Sox 1B. I doubt Abreu goes in and if he does then Konerko should go in with him.

Joliet Orange Sox

Abreu has higher career bWAR in 9 seasons than Konerko had in 18 seasons. Abreu’s career will end up too short to make the HOF because of being in Cuba. Konerko just wasn’t good enough to be in the HOF.

Joliet Orange Sox

I don’t think Jim is saying Abreu is a hall-of-fame player when he says Abreu “is closing out a brilliant nine-year run of Hall-of-Fame-caliber consistency”. He’s saying the last 9 years look like the years a HOF-er would have. Making his major league debut at 27 years of age made it too hard for Abreu to have a HOF career.

steelydan52

Fair enough. But in total fairness, Konerko broke in with the Dodgers at 21 and had 7AB. At age 22 with the Dodgers and Reds he had 117 AB. Then on to the Sox at 23 on his way to a very good career. None of us knows how Abreu hits during those younger years. Maybe the added years to his age helped him, we don’t know. I’m not knocking him but saying he’s that much better than Konerko is a reach to me just because there’s so much speculation. Paul’s power numbers and BA were either better or equal to Abreu’s at age 35 and 36. And he had a career .995 fielding average. Again, I’d be happy to have either one as my 1B but if I got to choose my 1B it would be Frank Thomas!

steelydan52

Well, Sox are down 6-0 in the top of 1. Oh well.
Abreu chose not to start because he wants to sit next to Cairo to get the managers perspective. Dear Lord, I pray he’s not going to be a player/manager. That would be SOOOOO Sox.

Shingos Cheeseburgers

José has been my favorite player since he came over fun Cuba and I cannot be more excited for him to move on and have an opportunity to win more than one playoff game in a year.

steelydan52

If the Yanks move on from Rizzo then Abreu would fit in nicely for 1 year. Rizzo hits more HR’s but that’s it.

Marty34

There is no point in contending for the division while not being a world series contender. This team got old in a hurry and desperately needs an infusion of youth.