Abreu, White Sox agree to 3-year, $50 million contract
Before they follow up the Yasmani Grandal signing by adding a veteran starting pitcher or two, a right fielder and some bullpen arms, the Chicago White Sox took care of one of their own Friday.
Jose Abreu was already under contract after accepting the Sox's one-year, $17.8 million qualifying offer on Nov. 14.
The all-star first baseman now has a new deal -- $50 million over three years.
"Like I said throughout the season, I didn't have any doubt that this would happen," Abreu said through a translator. "That's why I was telling you guys that I would be part of this organization for the rest of my career. I said it a lot of times, if this organization wouldn't sign me, I would sign myself here.
"It's just very special for me to continue to be part of this organization. There is no one happier in this moment than my mom for this deal to get done. When we heard the news this morning, we were all very happy in the house. Good things happen to good people."
Under terms of the new contract, Abreu receives a $5-million signing bonus, $11 million next season, $16 million in 2021 and $18 million in 2022, with $4 million deferred.
The White Sox ended the workweek on a spending spree. They signed Grandal on Thursday to a four-year, $73 million contract.
Don't be surprised if the Sox's next free-agent target is starting pitcher Zack Wheeler, who is likely to land a deal in the five-year, $100 million range.
Abreu has never been on a winning team during his six seasons with the White Sox. With young talent like Lucas Giolito, Yoan Moncada, Tim Anderson, Eloy Jimenez and Dylan Cease, veteran adds like Grandal and prospects Luis Robert and Nick Madrigal coming soon, that could change in 2020.
"I can't talk about time, but I can tell you we're going to work hard every single day to get better and to do our best every day," Abreu said. "It won't take us too much longer to be a really good team. If it takes us longer than expected, I'm going to be very disappointed. But I'm sure it won't take us longer to get to the point we are working for and to the point where we want to be, and that's the playoffs."
Abreu hasn't had much help, or protection, in the lineup since joining the Sox in 2014 on a six-year, $68 million contract, but he still managed to produce at a high level.
The 32-year-old Abreu hit .284/.330/.503 last season while leading the American League with 123 RBI. He added 33 home runs and 38 doubles and was named to his third all-star team.
Abreu also had 30-plus homers and 100-plus RBI for the fourth time, joining Frank Thomas (eight) Paul Konerko (five) and Magglio Ordonez (four) as the only players in franchise history to reach those numbers.
Abreu is a career .293/.349/.513 hitter with 218 doubles, 179 home runs and 611 RBI in 901 games over six seasons with the White Sox.
Since entering the league in 2014, Abreu leads all AL players in games played and ranks second with 1,038 hits, third in RBI and total bases (1,821) and fourth in doubles and homers.
"We'll celebrate for this deal, we'll celebrate for life and we'll celebrate for the White Sox," Abreu said. "I want to celebrate and honor all the people that have given me this opportunity, and of course (chairman) Jerry (Reinsdorf). None of this would be done without Jerry. We're going to celebrate for him, too."