Rumors are flying in the Twittersphere this evening that Cuban defector Jose Abreu is close to a deal with the White Sox worth an estimated $68 million over six years. If true, this deal would eclipse that of recent Cuban signees Yasiel Puig & Yoenis Cespedes– in fact, it would be the highest amount paid for a first-year international player ever.
Someone’s got some plans…. (*sideyes Rick Hahn*)
The likely candidate for 1B or DH, the 6’3″, 250LB righty hit .360 with three home runs and nine RBIs over six games in this year’s World Baseball Classic. He’s a former MVP in Cuba, where he had one of the best seasons in league history in 2010-11, hitting .453 with 33 home runs & 93 RBIs in just 66 games.
This puts Paul Konerko’s future in question. As I reported last month, Hahn was to give Pauly a month (at least) to make a decision on retirement; Konerko said if he were to play in 2014, he would like it to be in Chicago– even if that meant a reduced role. However, with no other teams likely to want to take on Adam Dunn’s $15 million next season, that would give the Sox three players at the 1B/DH position, which is, to say the least, unnecessary.
Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com & Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports have both confirmed the signing, which is dependent on passing a physical exam. We’ll update this as new information becomes available.
Update 10/19: MLB.com is confirming Abreu’s contract, which is dependent on passing a physical.