When asked if the White Sox had any interest in Jose Abreu in mid-August, executive vice president Kenny Williams said he had seen three videos of the slugging Cuban first baseman but needed to see more.
Williams was also asked if the Sox could potentially afford Abreu, who is likely to land a contract in the six-year, $60 million range.
"To me, it's all big money," Williams said. "If it's big money, it's big money. We've gone out and spent money before at given times. It has to fit into the current equation and our three-year look, so I don't know. But I need to see more video."
According to a Baseball America report, Williams got a first-hand look at Abreu on Monday and Tuesday during an open showcase at the New York Yankees' academy in the Dominican Republic.
Williams did not respond to an interview request from the Daily Herald on Thursday.
But there seems to be little doubt that Abreu would fill a gaping hole for a White Sox team that lost 99 games this season while finishing last in the American League in runs scored and close to the bottom in nearly every other offensive category.
Abreu, 26, would ostensibly replace Paul Konerko at first base. The 6-foot-3, 250-pounder played for Cuba in the World Baseball Classic last spring before defecting to Haiti. He was recently cleared by Major League Baseball to sign with any team.
Playing in the Cuban Serie Nacional, Abreu started attracting interest during the 2010-11 season when he batted .453 with 33 home runs and 93 RBI.
In addition to the White Sox, the Rangers, Red Sox, Giants, Mets and Marlins appear to have the most interest in Abreu.
The White Sox should be an attractive option because they have an immediate need for a power bat, they appear to have the money and they have a successful track record with Cuban players.
Jose Contreras and Orlando "El Duque" Hernandez helped the Sox win the 2005 World Series, and Alexei Ramirez and Dayan Viciedo are fixtures on the current roster.
Viciedo played against Abreu in Cuba and the left fielder said he'd be more than happy to help recruit the right-handed hitter to the White Sox.
"He's got a really good bat," Viciedo said. "He can hit, I remember that. I know he's a good player, but more than anything I remember he has a good bat."