Chicago White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu opted out of the final three years of his six-year, $68 million deal with the team Monday, according to CSN Chicago’s Dan Hayes.  

The 29-year-old still belongs to the White Sox but will undergo arbitration each offseason until 2019. 

A Cuban defector, Abreu came to the United States in 2014 and quickly became one of the league’s most feared power hitters. 

He took American League Rookie of the Year honors that season, batting .317 while mashing 36 home runs with 107 RBI. He led the majors with a .581 slugging percentage and 173 OPS+, gaining his first and only All-Star appearance. 

Since then, he’s seen a slight decline in his power numbers. He hit 25 home runs this season but still knocked in 100 runs thanks to his ability to hit the ball to any field.

Other than Todd Frazier and Melky Cabrera in the leadoff spot, though, the White Sox don’t have much more offense to boast, as they limped to a 78-84 fourth-place finish in the AL Central. 

Because of that, according to ESPN’s Buster Olney, the White Sox are “focused on a rebuild,” where even Abreu isn’t untouchable on the trade market. 

For now, though, Abreu can focus on upping his average annual salary through arbitration as one of the elite bats in Chicago’s lineup moving forward. 


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