Sanchez: White Sox agree to sign Jose Abreu for $68M


Via Jesse Sanchez: The White Sox have agreed to sign Cuban slugger Jose Abreu to a six-year contract worth $68M. The deal is still pending a physical and is (by far) the largest contract ever give to an international free agent, topping the $42M deal the Dodgers gave Yasiel Puig last summer. The White Sox have a pretty good history with Cuban-born players, most notably Jose Contreras, Alexei Ramirez, and Dayan Viciedo.

The Yankees were reportedly among the teams scouting the 26-year-old Abreu, who held some showcase events at their complex in the Dominican Republic last month. I never thought the Bombers were serious about signing him, especially at a price like that. With their payroll coming down and so many other holes on the roster to fill, signing another first base/DH type to a huge contract doesn’t make much sense. If they make a big international splash this winter, I suspect it’ll be for Masahiro Tanaka.

  • CountryClub

    Ben Badler ?@BenBadler 9m
    I’ve seen Jose Abreu several times. I do like him. But there are good scouts who wonder if the White Sox are paying $68MM for a 4A player.

  • Pat D

    I’ve had enough of this wishy-washy analysis, Mike.

    Can’t you just come right out and say what we’re all thinking?


    • http://twitter.com/#!/Clay_Bellinger Clay Bellinger

      He didn’t. Glad NYY aren’t the ones to sign that deal. With so many holes and a budget to work under, they would have been fools to sign this deal. Good pass.

      • Pat D


        • http://twitter.com/#!/Clay_Bellinger Clay Bellinger

          Sadly, it’s hard to tell. Many people (idiots?) here feel the exact way you noted in your comment.

          • Pat D

            I chose not to go the obvious detection route with the smiley face.

            I just figured that the all caps “Cashman failed” would be enough to signify it as such being that “Cashman failed” is probably the most recognized and used meme on this site.

          • RetroRob

            Whenever I see a comment like that I glance up at the name of the poster. If it’s a regular, known poster like Pat D, then I know it’s sarcasm. Unknown name? Troll or an idiot.

      • Wil Nieves #1 Fan

        P sure he’s not serious.

        • Pat D

          A man once asked me “Why so serious?”

          After that, I decided to not be so serious.

          I made the right decision.

    • ChrisS

      This is the insightful commentary that I look for when I click on RAB.

      Thanks, Pat.

      • Pat D

        If you think that’s insightful, just wait for my guest column: “The Wit of Michael Kay.”

      • Pat D

        Also, if you’re reading the comments for “insightful commentary,” you’re doing it wrong.

        • Robinson Tilapia

          I thought all the insight here came with the overnight commenters.

  • NeilT

    This makes a lot of sense for the ChiSox, since Konerko is going down the drain fast.

    Concentrate on Tanaka. Really if anything it will inject some genuine excitement into the Yankees’ pre-season, something that’s been missing in a while, since 2008 I guess. Maybe the Montero/Pineda trade did a bit, until Pineda turned up at Spring Training.

    • RetroRob

      Question is, what will Tanaka cost? He’s viewed as a better bet than Abreu, although projected as a mid-rotation, #3 type. He would be a decent replacement for Andy if that’s the case.

      Yet the posting fee and contract will be high based on what we’re seeing.

      • OldYanksFan

        Since the Posting Fee does NOT apply to the Tax threshold, this seems like a no brainer. The Yankees’ issue is NOT that they can’t afford more than $189m, it’s that they want to reset the Tax clock. Since the Posting fee usually represents around half of the players total contract, it’s a better deal for the Yankees than any other team, and means they can go high on their posting bid.

  • pat

    Jorge Vazquez 2.0?

    I predict he gets off to a hot start. RAB comment section turns into a gnashing of teeth and typical “Steinbrenners suck” type jibber jabber. Then when he’s hitting .220/.289/.400 by the ASB, those same people won’t be seen or heard from.

    • Buddy

      safe prediction.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      You missed an entire offseason of “Cashman Failed” beforehand.

    • http://twitter.com/#!/Clay_Bellinger Clay Bellinger

      EL CHATO!!

  • JJ

    From all the reports of them scouting Tanaka, I assume they are big on him, but I really have to wonder why they aren’t connected to Alexander Guerrero. It makes way too much sense. The fact that they haven’t even been mentioned makes me wonder if this is going to be a sneaky Cash move.

    • The Lime

      Agreed, why not feign interest even if it’s just for building leverage with Cano?

      • Robinson Tilapia

        Yankees: “You know, we don’t really need you. We could just pay this Cuban guy that’s never had an at-bat in the states $50 million.”

        Robbie: “Yeah. Good luck with that.”

        Jay Z: “Hova.”

        • jjyank

          Yeah really. I doubt signing some Cuban kid gives the Yankees much, if any, leverage with Cano.

          • The Lime

            If your current largest bidder has an alternative option, how could that not create leverage in negotiations?

            • Robinson Tilapia

              The alternate option needs to be perceived as an actual threat.

              Honestly, utilizing an untested international player as leverage against the best second baseman in baseball may even wind up being highly counterproductive.

              • qwerty

                You’re forgetting one very important factor here: no one outside of the Angels is going to pay Cano his asking price, except the yankees. The signing of someone who can take over at second base can most certainly be used as additional leverage.

        • The Lime

          I enjoyed the Jay-Z comment.

          Also, the figure I saw was 32mm, not 50mm. That’s a 50%+ difference. Where did 50mm come from?

          • Robinson Tilapia

            That was in no way meant to remble an actual conversation between all parties involved.

            He dropped the hyphen. If you’re going to play hardball with the man and utilize Guerrero as bait, the little things are going to count. That hyphen may have just cost you Robbie Cano. :)

    • qwerty

      They don’t call him the Ninja for nothing. Never would I have ever imagined that he could get Ed Yarnall for Mike Lowell.

    • mustang


      From what I read scouts predict Guerrero for 2nd, but he has played SS and some have said he might even work at 3rd.
      Using him for leverage against Cano is stupid, but as back-up for Jeter, A-Rod and as insurance if Cano walks makes all the sense in the world.

      Hopefully Cashman is doing his ninja thing.

  • Frank

    From what I’ve read, Guerrero is a second baseman and unless Cano decides to sign elsewhere we already have one of those. Apparently, the scouts don’t think he can play SS, but since the plan is to actually have a 40 year old with a bum leg play SS next year…I can’t see how he could be any worse.

    • NeilT

      Eduardo Nunez. Alberto Gonazalez. Reid Brignac. Jayson Nix. The list goes on and on ….

  • Robinson Tilapia

    Like every other time, I read this and say, “That’s fucking crazy. I’d never a guy like this this six years and close to $70 million.”

    Maybe there’s a New World Order and I’m playing with an outdated playbook, or maybe a good chunk of these contracts start looking nowhere near as good once we see some long-term numbers beyond whatever immediate splash we’ll see.

    I’m Cuban and have good knees. Show me the money.

    • http://twitter.com/#!/Clay_Bellinger Clay Bellinger

      This one’s also just so much more. Puig got $42M I believe. $68M is a big chunk more.

      • http://twitter.com/#!/Clay_Bellinger Clay Bellinger

        Hah.. and $42 is referenced in the article. You could tell I just skimmed this one. lol.

    • ChrisS

      There was a thing on fangraghs in July maybe where they took a stab at calculating the value of a dollar in the IFA pool (which can be traded) and it was like 2:1.

      So the value of being able to sign talent outside of any restriction is going to be much higher.

      I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Tanaka bidding break the Darvish total cost.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        I’d definitely be more willing to take the risk on Tanaka. Fills a need. Talent seems to be there. All for jumping into that pool.

    • Hanzi

      Wouldn’t be a day on this blog without Tilapia spouting off about his Cuban heritage…guess the emergence of Yasiel Puig has really made being Cuban a source of pride now…

  • qwerty

    That’s big chunk of change for a player from cuba, but I’ll say this, batting .450+, with 33 home runs, 95 rbis and a nearly .600 OBP after 66 games in the cuban league looks mighty impressive. I don’t care whether you do that in japan, cuba, or AAA. Those are the types of numbers that can’t easily be dismissed. I’ll take my chances with a player like this over a Nick Swisher, or Michael Bourn, or Angel Pagan, etc. The yankees have failed yet again.

    • OldYanksFan

      You’re so right!
      Is Shane Spencer available?

  • Farewell Mo

    Time will tell on this signing.

    If he turns out to be a $68 million Juan Miranda, shame on the Sox.
    If the turns out to be a $68 million Big Papi or Prince Fielder, it’s a steal.

    Anyone passing judgement on this signing now is talking out of their ass since only the White Sox know what their scouts really think of this guy.

    • qwerty

      Juan Miranda never hit like this guy. That’s like comparing James Loney to a young Albert Pujols.