The Red Sox’ interest in White Sox slugger Jose Abreu may not have been as strong as initially thought.
Peter Abraham’s “Red Sox Notebook” in the Boston Globe on Monday reported that the team’s talks with the White Sox about Abreu were “only preliminary” when they called about the first baseman last month. The initial report was that the Red Sox were in “active” talks with the White Sox, which suggested that the team may have been more aggressive than having just preliminary talks.
The idea that the Red Sox would only have lukewarm interest in Abreu takes on added importance, now that they are officially out of discussions with the Marlins to trade for Giancarlo Stanton (over whom they also reportedly had just preliminary talks) and are also out of the running for Japanese free agent Shohei Ohtani. But with the Winter Meetings still to come, starting next Monday in Orlando, there’s always the chance that talks are reopened.
Red Sox president of baseball ops. Dave Dombrowski is indicating that he is being patient, but also waiting for a mostly quiet Hot Stove to heat up.
“At some point, the market should open up. However, not sure when it will be,” Dombrowski said in an e-mail to the Globe.
Abraham cites free agents like J.D. Martinez, Eric Hosmer, Logan Morrison, and Carlos Santana as options that remain for the Red Sox on the open market to fill their need at first base. But a trade for Abreu, despite the potential cost of prospects, may still be the more attractive option due to his production and contract.
Abreu is arbitration-eligible through 2019 and has been one of the most consistent, durable sluggers in baseball during his four-year career. He has averaged 154 games, 31 home runs, and 102 RBIs per season with a .301 career average since his major-league debut in 2014.