After three seasons, Jose Abreu's name feels as if it has more value than his actual numbers. His 2014 season was outstanding, and 2015 was pretty good as well, but 2016 feels like a disappointment. Sure, he drove in 100 runs, taking advantage of the opportunities provided to him and hit .293. Yet, in a year where many were hitting 20-plus homers, Abreu hit 25 despite missing only three games all year. His Isolated Power and HR/FB ratio has declined each season he has been in the majors. His GB/FB rate has always been high, but he got away with it when he was hitting one out of every four or five flyballs out of the yard. Last season, that fell to one in every six flyballs which caps his power upside. All the pieces are there, but he has to get more distance on his batted balls to get back to the 30-homer plateau.
Abreu agreed to a one-year, $10.8 million contract with the White Sox on Saturday, avoiding arbitration. He recently opted out of the remaining three years on his contract in order to go through the arbitration process, which should net him over $30 million before he hits free agency after the 2019 season. Abreu is a good bet to hit for a high average, boasting a .299 career mark through three seasons. However, his power numbers have declined each season, hitting 25 homers with a .175 ISO, both career worsts, over a career-high 695 plate appearances in 2016.
Abreu opted out of his three-year deal with the White Sox on Monday and will go through the arbitration process year-by-year with them, Dan Hayes of CSN Chicago reports. This doesn't change Abreu's fantasy prospects very much in the present given that he's still under club control through the 2019 season, although he could command a higher salary through this method. The slugger posted a .293/.353/.468 slash line last season to go with 25 home runs in 2016, and he'll look to continue that over the next few seasons as the White Sox primary first baseman.
Abreu went 2-for-4 with a solo homer and a walk in Thursday's 2-1 win over the Indians. Abreu has been one of the hottest hitters in baseball of late, as this was his 10th homer in the past 25 games. It was probably the most special of the bunch, though, as the Cuban slugger had promised a young cancer patient pre-game that he'd hit one out of the park for him. With 24 home runs and 95 RBI on the season, Abreu is just six and five, respectively, shy of becoming the second player in major-league history after Albert Pujols to reach 30 homers and 100 RBI in each of their first three seasons.
Abreu went 3-for-7 with two home runs and seven RBI in the White Sox's extra-inning win over the Twins on Sunday. The seven RBI were a career high, and the pair of home runs moved him to 22 on the year. His recent hot stretch (he is hitting .370/.413/.677) since the start of August, has helped him salvage a what had been a disappointing campaign. Abreu had an .822 OPS after Sunday's game, which is just 27 points behind last year's .849.
Abreu went 3-for-6 with three RBI in a 11-4 victory over the Twins on Friday. This was the second straight night the first baseman had three hits. He has a modest five-game hitting streak, going 11-for-23 (.478) with three extra-base hits, including two homers during that stretch. Abreu is hitting .293 with 20 homers, 79 RBI and 53 runs in 518 at-bats.