The Colorado Rockies have had preliminary discussions with the Chicago White Sox about a possible trade to acquire Jose Abreu, according to Thomas Harding.
In his latest update, Harding says that the idea to trade for Abreu first emerged during the general managers meetings. While Harding also notes that the talks haven’t progressed past the preliminary stage, the Rockies have publicly said that they want to address their first base production problems from last year. Abreu would be an ideal solution.
Harding also said that the White Sox are seeking several prospects from the Rockies in exchange for Abreu’s services. While no details are given on who those prospects would be, it makes sense that the package would include one of the Rockies top position prospects like Ryan McMahon or Raimel Tapia.
This is the second time that the Rockies have tried to acquire Abreu. When he first defected from Cuba, the Rockies tried to sign him but lost out to the White Sox. Abreu had a phenomenal rookie campaign when he slugged .581 and had a league-leading 173 OPS+. He won the Rookie of the Year award as a 27-year-old.
While the performance the last two years was not as prolific, with OPS+ marks of 135 and 126 in 2015 and 2016 respectively, he would still be a big upgrade for the Rockies and would be under team control through the 2019 season. However, he did opt out of the original contract and into arbitration this offseason, so the financial outlay will probably be larger than what his original contract would have been. There is no cost certainty anymore.
This move would cost the Rockies in terms of prospects and money, but it would solve an immediate need in an uncharacteristically splashy and thorough manner.