Abreu signing new deal with Chicago White Sox makes sense in multiple areas
On the never-ending subject of Jose Abreu's future, Chicago White Sox general manager Rick Hahn has consistently said a decision will be made in the off-season to avoid distractions.
Maybe it's the Sox's front office that is trying to stay focused because Abreu wants to return so badly, he'd likely step out of the batter's box between pitches and sign a new deal.
"I want to be part of this organization forever," Abreu said through a translator.
When the season ends Sunday, Abreu's six-year contract officially expires and he's a free agent.
Hahn has not revealed much about the 32-year-old first baseman's future to the local media, but he was more open during an appearance on MLB Network in May.
"Jose has huge value to us," the White Sox's GM said. "I think that's a large part of the reason that, although you've seen us move some premium-type talent as part of this rebuild over the last couple years, Jose is still here.
"He's been here throughout the early stages of this rebuild, and it's certainly very likely that he'll be here for the more enjoyable stages that lie ahead of us."
Abreu has leadership value in a clubhouse full of young players, he's been a great influence on fellow Cuban Yoan Moncada, and he also has a strong relationship with another Cuba native, Luis Robert, who will be with the Sox next season.
More important, Abreu is still an offensive force.
In Wednesday night's 8-3 victory over the Indians at Guaranteed Rate Field, his run-scoring single in the fourth inning upped his RBI total to 122. That is tops in the American League.
Dick Allen is the only White Sox hitter to the league in RBI, in 1972.
Manager Rick Renteria typically leaves all roster decisions in Hahn's hands. Renteria was asked if he could imagine the 2020 White Sox without Abreu.
"No," he said. "You guys have heard me talk about being thankful for all the players that are on this club, that we all know at some point in time they may not be a part of this team moving forward. But (Abreu) is one of those guys that I cannot see not being a part of us as we move forward.
"Obviously, I don't control that, but I think the organization in general feels very confident about him and what he brings to the table. So I'm optimistic he's going to continue to be a part of us as we move forward."
Speaking of league leaders, Tim Anderson took a big step toward winning the batting title with a 4-for-5 showing against the Indians.
The Sox's shortstop hiked his average to .339 and is well ahead of the Yankees' DJ LeMahieu, who is second at .328.
"I was swinging the bat really well tonight," Anderson said after his sixth 4-hit game of the season. "Everything's clicking. They're coming at me with their best stuff, but I'm waiting on them. I'm competing."