Jose Abreu finalizing terms on six-year, $68M deal. Club expected to be #WhiteSox. Deal will be largest first-time contract for int’l playerA first reported by Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports above, Cuban defector Jose Abreu has signed a six year deal worth $68 million dollars with the Chicago White Sox. Also noted by Rosenthal, this is the largest first-time contract issued to an international player. Furthermore, this is more than double the deal that Yasiel Puig obtained..and don't think for one second Abreu is that good.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) October 18, 2013
There had been some Mets fans clinging to the hope that the team would pursue Abreu as an immediate replacement at first base for the super-combo of Ike Davis and Lucas Duda. Some proverbial winds were blown through those fires when the team sent three scouts to watch a workout Abreu hosted in recent weeks. By all accounts, that workout confirmed what many already suspected about the young Cuban. He has great raw power capable of hitting thirty home runs, but he is a liability in the field. Such a situation makes him destined for the American League where he can be transitioned to designated hitter if necessary.
At the end of the day, Abreu just isn't worth the gamble for the Mets. His deal is in excess of $11 million dollars annually, which would represent more than 20% of the organization's budget IF they were to reinvest every dollar that is coming off the books after 2013 (they won't). Such a decision would limit their ability to address much more glaring holes in their roster, such as corner outfield and shortstop, where they were getting even less offensive production than first base.
I know its frustrating. We all want to see the rebuild start to take shape sooner than later. This time next year, if the Mets have already added quality outfielders, a good offensive shortstop and were a power hitting first baseman away from a World Series run, I'd suspect they would more seriously consider Abreu. He would probably be an offensive upgrade over Davis and/or Duda, but he is a risk that isn't worth taking right now.