Why Red Sox are reportedly monitoring Jose Abreu market

Rob Bradford
July 19, 2019 - 10:43 am

Jose Abreu has been playing for the White Sox since 2014. He has been seemingly linked to the Red Sox that entire time.

And the connection isn't stopping now.

As a reminder, Abreu is the first baseman from Cuba the Red Sox came just a few million dollars away from earning the right to sign back in 2013 in what was a blind bid. (The close-but-no-cigar moment served as an impetus to overpay for Rusney Castillo the following year.)

He was the one that got away.

But because Abreu is now on the doorstep of free agency, with the White Sox continuing in rebuild mode, more trade talk surrounding the 32-year-old is going to percolate. Last offseason he went through the final year of arbitration, avoiding the process by agreeing to a one-year $16 million deal.

So where would Abreu fit?

The price tag, even for the final few months, might seem to be somewhat of a stumbling block. But it's hard to argue that Abreu's presence wouldn't be a plus while serving as insurance at first base. Red Sox manager Alex Cora noted Thursday that Steve Pearce isn't close to coming back, and Mitch Moreland's health continues to be up and down. And while Michael Chavis continues to do an admirable job at first, having the option to move the rookie over to second base on more occasions would be appealing.

Then there is what Abreu does to lefty pitching.

Against left-handed hurlers, the slugger is hitting .355 with a .947 OPS, although only seven of his 21 homers have come against lefties.

Is a deal likely? It would still seem to be a reach. But as has been the case for the six seasons with Abreu, it's OK to dream a little.