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Why Red Sox should be calling on Jose Abreu

Rob Bradford
November 24, 2017 - 11:53 am

We know the names. Giancarlo Stanton. J.D. Martinez. Eric Hosmer.

Let's throw another one in the mix: Jose Abreu.

As the Red Sox explore options to find that "dinger hitter" (as one young caller to WEEI so aptly articulated), it's worth the time to explore the idea of targeting Abreu as a possible solution.

Much like the aforementioned three options, Abreu will come with an uneasy price tag. That cost will be more players heading the White Sox way. And that won't be a few throw-ins, either. Maybe it won't be a Chris Sale-level of a commitment, but we're still talking a deal highlighted by the likes of a top prospect or Jackie Bradley Jr. (The White Sox have previously shown interest in Bradley Jr.)

Abreu has two more years of abritration-eligibility, with MLB Trade Rumors projecting that commitment could add to a total of $37 million. So not only are you going to be giving up pieces from your organization, but the Red Sox will also be immediately putting their new acquisition right below Hanley Ramirez among the highest-paid players on the team.

It might all be worth it.

The two-year window would allow for the kind of financial flexibilty acquriing Stanton, Martinez or Hosmer would not. That, of course, would make extensions for the likes of Chris Sale, Mookie Betts and potentially Xander Bogaerts a bit more palatable.

And here's the other thing: Abreu would be a really good fit.

It would have interesting to look back as to how things might have unfolded if the Red Sox ponied up about $5 million more in the Abreu sweepstakes and reeled in the Cuban slugger. On top of the fact that there almost certainly wouldn't have been the somewhat reactionary signing of Rusney Castillo, the Sox would have had a guy who has been one of the best international additions in recent memory.

The 30-year-old has proven to be ultra-durable over his four-year big league career, establishing himself as a positive clubhouse presence along the way. And then there's the production. The righty slugger has a career .301 batting average and .883 OPS, having averaged 33 homers per 162 games. 

Abreu is also coming off his second-best season, hitting .304 with a .906 OPS and 33 homers, leading the American League in total bases.

White Sox GM Rick Hahn has said much like most of his team a year ago, Abreu is in play when it comes to the trade market. For the Red Sox, it's at least worth a couple of calls.

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