With the Chicago White Sox continuing their rebuild, the San Francisco Giants could look to acquire slugging first baseman Jose Abreu.
White Sox general manager Rick Hahn has already said this offseason they are listening to offers on Jose Abreu and Avisail Garcia. Both could be options for the Giants, but we’ll focus on Abreu in this article.
The battle here is Abreu versus Brandon Belt. I know Belt has a cult following of Giants supporters, but there really is no battle here … Abreu is a much better player.
In four major league seasons Abreu has a career average of .301 and on-base-percentage of .359 with 124 home runs and 410 RBI.
Belt has a career average of .269 and on-base-percentage of .358 with 98 home runs and 369 RBI in seven major league seasons.
Abreu will play next season at age 31 and make around $17 million through arbitraion, while Belt will play next season at 30 and make $17.2 million.
So with those two things being pretty much equal, you’ll obviously take the production of Abreu.
The White Sox first baseman has played 145 games or more every year, hit 25 or more home runs in every season and had 100 RBI or more in every year. He’s also hit .290 or better with an on-base-percentage of .347 or better in all four major league seasons.
He’s a model of consistency, which is something the Giants desperately need.
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Abreu is under club control for two more years before becoming a free agent. With another solid year, he’ll get another big bump in arbitration for 2019, but we’ll worry about that later.
Now the question becomes, how do we get rid of Belt and acquire Abreu? It’s not like the White Sox want Belt — they are looking for impact prospects to continue their rebuild.
So first the Giants would have to find a taker for Belt, which shouldn’t be too hard. But the Giants may have to eat some of the money on his contract, which runs through 2021 at $17.2 million a year.
Then the Giants would have to give up a couple of top prospects. This also means they wouldn’t be able to go after Giancarlo Stanton.
So acquiring Abreu becomes a little complicated, but if the Giants can pull it off it would bring a consistent 30 home run, 100 RBI bat to the lineup at first base.