Abreu accepts $17.8 million offer to stay with White Sox
At the end of the season, general manager Rick Hahn never mentioned any names, but he was pretty specific about the White Sox's off-season target list for roster additions.
Hahn indicated the Sox are going to be shopping for a right fielder, a designated hitter and two starting pitchers.
He bypassed first base, the position Jose Abreu manned for the past six seasons.
"There's a strong desire on both sides to figure out a way to keep Jose in a White Sox uniform beyond this year," Hahn said. "I don't know quite the path it's going to follow with Jose just yet, but more often than not when there's that mutual desire to figure out a way to get something done, you wind up getting something done."
On Thursday, it got done.
Abreu accepted the Sox's qualifying offer and he'll return for his seventh season on the South Side in 2020 with a one-year, $17.8 million contract.
Ten major-league free agents were given qualifying offers this year, and only Abreu and Minnesota Twins starter Jake Odorizzi accepted.
Madison Bumgarner, Gerrit Cole, Josh Donaldson, Marcell Ozuna, Anthony Rendon, Will Smith, Stephen Strasburg and Zack Wheeler declined.
Smith made a quick exit from the San Francisco Giants and signed a three-year, $39 million contract Thursday with the Atlanta Braves.
Why did Abreu accept the White Sox's qualifying offer?
He has been open about wanting to stay and finally win after playing on losing Sox teams the past six years. There also is a good chance Abreu and the White Sox can reach agreement on a longer deal in the near future.
"I want to be part of this organization forever," Abreu said at the end of the season. "Everybody knows my wishes and my desire to stay here. This is an organization I respect. This is an organization I really honor.
"We played very good baseball in September. This is just a little proof of what we are able to do next year."
While he'll be 33 on Jan. 29, Abreu is still one of the best right-handed sluggers in baseball.
He became only the second Sox hitter to lead the American League in RBI with a career-high 123 this season. Dick Allen topped the AL with 113 RBI in 1972.
Abreu also batted .284/.330/.503 with 38 doubles and 33 home runs and played in his third All-Star Game.
Along with Frank Thomas, Paul Konerko and Magglio Ordonez, Abreu is the only hitter in franchise history to have 30 or more homers and 100 or more RBI in four or more seasons.
After playing 10 years for Cienfuegos in his native Cuba, Abreu joined the White Sox in 2014 on a six-year, $68 million contract.
Among many, Sox manager Rick Renteria is a big fan and undoubtedly happy that Abreu is coming back for at least one more season.
"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," Renteria said. "But (Abreu) is one of those guys that I cannot see not being a part of us as we move forward."