Jose Abreu has left the Chicago White Sox for free-agent riches with the Houston Astros. Another beloved Sox player is going to attempt to chase that elusive World Series ring with another team.
Abreu is joining the defending World Series champions on a three-year deal. The Astros are adding the 2020 American League MVP to an already potent lineup.
As if the White Sox road to winning a World Series during their contention window was not already hard enough, they now have to take on a team that has their former franchise face.
Hey, that is what contending teams do to continue to sustain success in this league which is something the White Sox never have.
Abreu’s home run numbers were down last year as he hit just 15. He still had a really good slash line of .304/.378/.446 and was a 4.2 wins above replacement (WAR) player.
During those tough-to-watch rebuilding years, Abreu was one of the few reasons to turn on Chicago White Sox baseball. He was a three-time All-Star and Silver Slugger. He took home the 2014 AL Rookie of the Year award and 2020 MVP of the American League.
All good things must end although it would have been nice if he retired with the White Sox. Then again, not everyone can have the Paul Konerko ending.
The Chicago White Sox roster redundancy at first base and designated hitter caused Abreu’s departure.
Yasmani Grandal, Andrew Vaughn, Gavin Sheets, and Eloy Jimenez will take up the at-bats in 2023 at either first or DH. It will be tough to see Abreu wear another uniform, especially one that sports an Astros logo.
Jose Abreu took over first base from Chicago White Sox legend Paul Konerko.
Following a franchise icon like Konerko would be a tall task for most players. Abreu did it with ease.
Abreu leaves the Chicago White Sox 13th on the franchise’s batting average list. Frank Thomas and Konerko are the only players to hit more home runs than Abreu did in a White Sox uniform.
Abreu is fifth all-time on the franchise list for RBI and he sits at 10th in runs. Abreu has the highest OPS among all the White Sox first basemen.
That still does not take away from the greatness Abreu achieved in Chicago. This is not meant to pit who was greater among the two players.
Also, Konerko did not lose two seasons of contention because the owner thought it was a good idea to bring back a Hall of Fame manager despite the game passing that manager by.
Abreu has done enough to have his number 79 retired by the White Sox. The Sox already have 11 numbers retired and Abreu ranks right up there with those great players.