The Chicago White Sox and first baseman Jose Abreu reached an agreement Saturday on a one-year contract extension to avoid arbitration.

Chicago announced the new deal on its official Twitter account. Scott Merkin of reported the power-hitting infielder will earn $10.825 million in 2017.

Abreu has made a massive impact across his first three years in the majors. He’s cranked 91 home runs to go along with a .299 batting average and a .360 on-base percentage. In addition, he’s also tallied at least 100 runs batted in every year.

The Cuba native’s success quickly eliminated any concerns about his transition as a 27-year-old rookie after a successful career in the Cuban National Series. He’s proved himself as one of the most impactful offensive contributors in the American League.

In September, Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times noted the first baseman lamented the fact that his individual numbers haven’t translated into team success, stating, “In this sport nobody likes to lose.”

He expressed an interest in sticking with the organization for the long haul, though:

I’m going to forever be grateful to this organization because of everything they’ve done for me. I would like to play my whole career in the U.S., with this team, because it’s like my family. They were the ones who gave me the opportunity, they were the ones who helped me through the whole process to come here and to become a U.S. resident. They have been very supportive of me, and my family, too. I want to be with this team, to be an important part of this team and to win a championship with this team.

The latest contract is a small step toward that goal. It also represents a minor pay raise after he made $10 million in 2016 before exercising an opt-out clause in his prior deal, per Spotrac.

He’s been the subject of some trade rumors this offseason as well. Thomas Harding of reported in early December the White Sox and Colorado Rockies engaged in “preliminary talks” about a potential deal. It’s unclear whether those discussions ever advanced beyond the exploratory stage.

For now, he’s slated to hit in the middle of the Chicago order. It’s a lineup featuring some strength from the No. 2 through No. 5 spots with Abreu, Tim Anderson, Todd Frazier and Melky Cabrera. But the rest is patchwork as the club enters a rebuilding phase.

Ultimately, the White Sox’s decision to revamp the system could lead to an Abreu trade. It will be difficult to find another player or prospect capable of replacing his pop, though.


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