After the signing announcement by the White Sox, there was a short Q&A session with Rick Hahn and Jose Abreu. Abreu's responses were all the things you want to hear.
On whether Yasiel Puig or Yoenis Cespedes inspired him
Abreu deftly handled this by crediting the whole generation of Cuban players in the majors.
Did the White Sox having Cuban players help to influence Abreu's decision?
Abreu said it did. When the offers came in, the interest the White Sox had shown along with the presence of Alexei Ramirez and Dayan Viciedo made it an easy decision for him.
On the details of his defection from Cuba
Abreu: Can't talk about how he got out of Cuba. Good move, Jose. Keep that mystique. Probably built the boat himself and captained it.— larry southsidesox (@SouthSidelarry) October 29, 2013
On Paul Konerko
Hahn started out by pointing out that it was still October and discussing the opening day 2014 roster was a bit premature. He also said there would still be room for Konerko on the team.
Regarding Abreu, Hahn said he talked to Konerko in September and let him know that Abreu would be a target in the offseason. He also talked to him the day that Abreu was signed. There is still no decision from Paul Konerko on his plans for next season, and the Sox are still planning to have their offseason talk with Konerko.
Why No. 79?
Abreu asked his mother to pick out a number for him. She picked No. 79. She thought everyone would associate No. 79 with him someday.
About the signing
Hahn talked about the scouting that went into the signing. Marco Paddy had seen him several times when Abreu played internationally. Kenny Willams also, not so secretly, saw Abreu's showcase in the Dominican. They also watched a lot of video of his swing and his at bats. He also mentioned the Davenport translations for Abreu. The Sox keep all their draft picks and international pool with this signing. The signing was a risk, but so is every free agent signing.
Abreu felt confident about going to the major leagues after playing in the WBC this past spring.
Did he hear what US Cellular was like to play in?
Abreu talked to both Alexei and Alejandro De Aza about the park and what it's like to play there.
What's his personality like?
He's kind of a quiet guy that away from the game spends time with his family and friends, but doesn't go out much. On the field, he'll do anything for the team.