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Rumor grade: White Sox trading Jose Abreu to the Red Sox?

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It works for both sides.

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim v Chicago White Sox Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

During last year’s offseason, the Red Sox sent a pretty package of prospects to the White Sox for Chris Sale which worked out well for them.

Now, there are rumors they could be trading with the White Sox once again, this time for first baseman Jose Abreu. How much sense does this rumor make, though?

The rumor

According to FanRag’s Jon Heyman, the Red Sox have entered into discussions with Chicago about shipping Abreu to Boston. Milwaukee and Houston are also participating in these discussions, so there are more bidders than just the East Coast-Sox that could end up with Abreu at first.

Why it makes sense for the Red Sox

First off, because they’ve been here before. They were one of the final four teams in the running for Abreu when he signed with the White Sox in 2013. They came within $5 million of winning a bid for Abreu but he went to Chicago instead and has been excelling there ever since.

There was talk in 2013 that he could have moved to third base since the Red Sox had Mike Napoli on the roster at that time, but now first base is wide open. Mitch Moreland is the current Boston first baseman, and after that it’s ... well, it’s not great. There’s a space for Abreu for sure.

In his four seasons with the White Sox, Abreu has averaged a .301 batting average, a 142 OPS+, and is averaging 31 games a year. For a team that had significant troubles offensively in 2017, the answer to why this makes sense for Boston is quite obvious.

It also means they could pay Abreu, possibly sign J.D. Martinez, and then ignore the race for Giancarlo Stanton and all the payroll that comes with it. A much more feasible plan.

Why it makes sense for the White Sox

Why it works for Chicago is a little less clear cut but still sensical, in that Abreu is a player making a lot of money on a team that is actively rebuilding. He’s signed for two more seasons and is second-year arbitration eligible for 2018, expected to make nearly $18 million next year.

Even though Abreu has said he wants to stick with the team through rebuilding, rebuilding is rebuilding and if the front office thinks the return on Abreu will be enough to make it worth it then the trade will happen. At the end of the day, a major trade asset simply has to be on the table in some situations and this appears to be one of those scenarios for Chicago.

We could see him in a different Sox uniform before too long. The one he was close to wearing when he first entered the league.

Rumor grade

A. This one seems legit, not only because it works so neatly for both sides but because the Hot Stove has been without a working pilot light so far this offseason so if the first major trade rumor (besides Stanton) is this one that also seems right.