White Sox Make Splash In Signing Cuban Player Jose Abreu, Hope For Immediate Impact
The White Sox on Friday made official the "first big free-agent splash of the off-season" with their six-year, $68M contract with Cuban 1B Jose Abreu, according to Ben Strauss of the N.Y. TIMES. The deal is the "richest first contract for an international player, surpassing" the $56M that Rangers P Yu Darvish received last year. White Sox Vice Chair Eddie Einhorn said, "Last year wasn’t a very good year, and everybody’s asking what we’re going to do. Well, here you go: we did something. If he turns out to be what’s expected, it’s money well spent" (N.Y. TIMES, 10/19). In Chicago, Daryl Van Schouwen wrote the White Sox "regained respect from the baseball world and from a wounded fan base that saw a tough-to-watch 99-loss season." Adding Abreu, "arguably the most attractive free agent on the market, makes an instant impact while fitting into" White Sox GM Rick Hahn’s plan to "build a successful team for the long term" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 10/19). Also in Chicago, Rick Morrissey wrote, "I don't know if the Abreu signing will be a game-changer. ... But it's nice to see the Sox doing something bold." This was "cold cash talking -- a language in which the Sox haven't always been conversant" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 10/20). The CHICAGO TRIBUNE's Colleen Kane wrote the risk of the deal is "one the organization thinks it should take to hasten its ascent to relevance" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 10/20). SI.com's Cliff Corcoran wrote Abreu's contract "comes with little risk despite its record-breaking value" (SI.com, 10/18). ESPN.com's Keith Law wrote with the early success of A's LF Yoenis Cespedes and Dodgers RF Yasiel Puig, MLB teams are "going to be even more willing to spend on Cuban players who look like they can make an immediate impact." In fact, the "excess demand and limited supply almost guarantees teams will overpay for these guys, because they're underpaying for talent in the two amateur arenas" (ESPN.com, 10/18).