The White Sox came to terms on Friday with first-baseman Jose Abreu on a one year contract worth $13 million dollars. The agreement came at the deadline for players and teams to exchange arbitration figures.
Abreu was the leader in the locker room of a rebuilding White Sox team during the 2017 campaign, while leading the team in hits (189), RBI (102) and home runs (33). The agreement appears to be a bargain for the rebuilding White Sox, as many expected Abreu to command between $17 and $19 million dollars.
Abreu is in rarefied company, becoming the third player in major-league history to begin his career with four consecutive seasons of 25 plus home runs, and 100 plus RBI, joining Joe DiMaggio and Albert Pujols. Abreu will be arbitration eligible again next season.
Other negotiations were not as successful for the White Sox, as they headed to arbitration with infielder Yolmer Sanchez and outfielder Avisail Garcia. The White Sox have not gone to arbitration with a player since 2001 with pitcher Keith Foulke.
Garcia, 26, appears in line for a big pay-day. Garcia was paid $3 million dollars during his breakout 2017 season. Garcia posted career highs in nearly every statistical category, including home runs (18), batting average (.330) , RBI (80), slugging percentage (.506), and on base percentage (.380). Garcia also made his first career All-Star game as the White Sox lone representative. Garcia submitted an arbitration number at $6.7 million, while the White Sox submitted $5.85 million.
Sanchez also posted career numbers in 2017, including a career-high WAR of 3.5. Both players may continue to negotiate deals up until the arbitration hearings begin January 29th. It is safe to assume this will the be the White Sox preferred course of action for both players.