Chicago White Sox slugger José Abreu will be an unrestricted free agent after the season ends, but according to comments the slugger made to a newspaper Wednesday, his stay in Chicago may be extended beyond this year.
In a piece by the Chicago Sun-Times’ Daryl Van Schouwen, Abreu is quoted as saying that team owner Jerry Reinsdorf has told him that he won’t “wear a jersey other than” a White Sox uniform.
“Jerry, several times, has told me and my family that I am not going to wear a jersey other than a White Sox jersey,” Abreu said. “I believe him. I believe in his word. And like I said, I’m very happy with and loyal to this organization.”
Abreu is playing under a contract paying him $16 million this season, and will be an unrestricted free agent at season’s end. The free agent market for first basemen is rough this offseason, with players like Justin Smoak and Mitch Moreland highlighting the list.
Fortunately for the White Sox, they do have an heir apparent in their system already after drafting Andrew Vaughn with the third overall pick in the 2019 MLB Draft. He has already been bumped up to High-A ball by the White Sox, hitting a total of four home runs and 30 RBI’s in 44 games so far this season.
It's unclear whether Vaughn would be ready to ascend to the major leagues next season however, making it a practical decision for the White Sox if they opt to keep Abreu beyond this season.