(670 The Score) Veteran first baseman Jose Abreu is high on list of players the Cubs would like to add in free agency this offseason, according to multiple sources.
Abreu, who turns 36 in January, has spent his entire nine-year MLB career with the White Sox, but it appears he’s unlikely to return to the South Side in 2023. The White Sox have a talented hitter in Andrew Vaughn who’s ready to play first base after playing out of position in the outfield for the past two seasons. Abreu hit just 15 homers in 157 games in 2022 after hitting 30 homers in 152 games in 2021. That drop in power is a factor in the White Sox’s thinking to let him walk in free agency, according to sources.
For the Cubs, Abreu seems like a perfect short-term fit. They have a void at first base and would like to add a consistent player there who could help them improve immediately. Abreu has been consistent and also amazingly durable through his career. He’s missed just 18 games across the past four seasons. And prior to 2022, Abreu had hit at least 25 homers and produced 100 RBIs or more in six of the past seven full MLB seasons. During the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, Abreu won the American League MVP award after hitting .317 with a .987 OPS.
Abreu hit .304 with 15 homers, 75 RBIs and an .824 OPS this past season. He’s a career .292 hitter with an .860 OPS.
The Cubs got very little production from their first basemen in 2022, with their players there combining to hit .223 with 14 homers and a .626 OPS.
Abreu is entering free agency after completing his three-year, $50-million contract that he signed in November 2019. He originally joined the White Sox on a six-year, $68-million deal in late 2013.
Bruce Levine covers the Cubs and White Sox for 670 The Score. Follow him on Twitter @MLBBruceLevine.