Friday, June 14, 2024

José Abreu: Analyzing A Potential White Sox Reunion

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The José Abreu era in Houston has officially come to an end. The team released him earlier today despite having over $30 million remaining on his contract. His MLB future is now up in the air. Some team might take a flier on him, with the White Sox being a potential landing spot. After all, one cannot talk about José Abreu without talking about the White Sox. The question is, does bringing Abreu back at this point make any sense?

Abreu’s Stark Decline

Gone are the days of White Sox Abreu. He was not even close to the same guy in Houston as in Chicago. Abreu was so bad that they gave him a mental breather in the middle of the season hoping it would get him back on track. That did not work. He has been one of the worst players in MLB this season and has barely been better than Martín Maldonado offensively. It has been that bad. The fact that Houston pulled the plug with that much money still owed on his contract shows they had enough and did not envision him turning things around.

His Legacy In Chicago

From the White Sox point of view, this new development is an interesting scenario. No one would advocate for this possibility or even consider it if this was a random player. But José Abreu is not a random player. He is one of the best players to ever put on a White Sox uniform. Abreu carried the team on his back year after year, consistently driving in over 100 runs a season and being a leader on the team. He played nearly every day through injuries. For as bad as the team was during most of his tenure in Chicago, he always performed and never complained.

Is There A Place For José?

The White Sox situation as a team is also a factor in this. If the team were good, a reunion would not make sense. Even as things are right now, bringing him in does not make sense from a roster standpoint. Andrew Vaughn and Gavin Sheets play the same position as Abreu, and both are much younger and significantly better than he is now. The White Sox need to prioritize playing time for younger players for the rest of this season, and bringing in Abreu would be the opposite of that. 

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Potential Positive Storyline

However, 2024 has been the most miserable season for White Sox fans in recent memory. Maybe ever. The 2024 team could be the worst in MLB history. Some positive storylines have emerged this season, namely the growth of Garrett Crochet, Korey Lee and Erick Fedde’s resurgence after a season in Korea. But for the most part, it has been a dreadful year. Bringing back Abreu would be a feel-good story and a reason for Sox fans to come to the ballpark to see him play one last time.

The White Sox Should Honor A Team Legend

The White Sox gave Paul Konerko a farewell tour when he was old and no longer good. While Abreu does not have the legacy Konerko does, he is still an all-time great White Sox. That means something. When someone thinks of the best players in White Sox history, José Abreu’s name is in that conversation. As such, bringing him back and giving him the farewell tour experience before his inevitable jersey number retirement ceremony would be a classy gesture. He earned it.

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