Just a day after shocking all of baseball — and from the looks of it, the White Sox fan base — with an aggressive move to get Yasmani Grandal signed for four years, the club ensured fellow countryman and de facto captain José Abreu would be around for the bulk of that contract.
Abreu, mere days after accepting a one-year, $17.8 million qualifying offer from the White Sox, tore that up and inked a three-year, $50 deal to stay in Chicago through the 2022 season.
Abreu gets a $5 million signing bonus, $11 million in 2020, $16 million in 2021 and $18 million in 2022. Abreu is taking $4 million of that 2022 contract as deferred money.
The 32-year-old hit .284 with 38 doubles, 33 home runs, a career-high 123 RBIs, 85 runs and a .503 slugging percentage in 159 games in 2019, his sixth season with the White Sox. He led the American League in RBIs, joining Dick Allen (113 in 1972) as the only AL RBI leaders in franchise history. Abreu also was named to his third AL All-Star Team.
Those 123 RBIs were the 10th-most in Sox history and the most since Magglio Ordóñez in 2002 (135). Abreu recorded his fourth career season of 30-plus homers and 100-plus RBIs, joining Frank Thomas (eight) Paul Konerko (five) and Ordóñez (four) as the only players in franchise history to reach those numbers.
“From the moment he stepped into the major leagues, José Abreu has been a leader on the field and in the clubhouse,” says GM Rick Hahn in the ballclub’s press release. “He has consistently delivered run production at a historic pace, and with each passing season, his leadership role within our clubhouse – with both American-born and Latin-American players – has repeatedly grown.
“It’s certainly no surprise that both José and the White Sox were comfortable with a multiyear commitment moving forward, and we are happy to announce today’s agreement. José is proud to be a member of the White Sox, and we certainly are pleased to have him returning to our clubhouse as our team takes the next important steps in its development.”
Abreu speaks with Chicago media later this afternoon, but had his own statement in the release.
“I have to give a special thank you to Jerry Reinsdorf and all the people involved with the White Sox who made this possible. This is a dream come true for me and my family,” Abreu says. “To the fans, I told you I would come back. I never doubted it. Everybody knows the group of talented players that we have, and I want to help guide them and together make the Chicago White Sox a championship team.”
Abreu, a three-time AL All-Star, is a career .293/.349/.513 hitter with 218 doubles, 179 homers, 611 RBIs and 483 runs in 901 games over six seasons with the White Sox after signing with the club as a free agent on Oct. 29, 2013.
He ranks third in franchise history in slugging percentage, sixth in home runs, ninth in extra-base hits, 13th in RBIs and 15th in total bases (1,821). Abreu is the only player in White Sox history to record 20-plus homers and 30-plus doubles in each of his first six seasons, and his five seasons with 100 or more RBIs rank third in club history behind Thomas (10) and Konerko (six).
Since entering the league in 2014, Abreu leads all AL players in games played (901) and ranks among the leaders in hits (second), extra-base hits (second, 411), total bases (third, 1,821), RBIs (third), doubles (fourth) and homers (fourth). Abreu and Colorado’s Nolan Arenado are the only players in the major leagues to record 30-plus doubles in each of the last six seasons.