Adios Jose

With a 4-13 record since the All-Star break the Sox have resoundingly answered the question of whether they should be sellers or buyers before the July 31 trade deadline. The only question now is who to trade. Everyone has their own list of trade candidates. But there is only one player who is also on the list of players who must be traded: Jose Abreu.
Abreu must go because it is difficult to see a role for him as the Sox hopefully enter their competitive window in 2020 and beyond. Abreu’s production matches the profile of a player whose productivity is in decline. Https://www.beyondtheboxscore.com/2014/12/1/7305741/mlb-baseball-player-age-curves. From a high of 6.8 in his 2014 rookie year, Abreu’s offensive war has declined every year with the sole exception of 2017. His 2019 offensive war stands at 0.9. At his stated age of 32, it would be unrealistic for Sox management to expect Abreu’s production to show a meaningful reversal.
The bigger problem with keeping Abreu on the roster is that he would become a roadblock to the development of highly valued Sox prospects. Zach Collins, Jake Burger and Andrew Vaughan are all hitters in search of positions. Throw in Eloy Jimenez, who so far has proven to be as dangerous in the field as he has at the plate, and you have four players vying for at bats at either DH or first base. Trading Abreu and not bringing him back makes a lot more at-bats available for these players to develop at the major league level.
While Abreu has been a very productive player for the Sox and a positive influence in the clubhouse he does not project to be a valuable contributor as the Sox become more competitive in the next few years. Yes, it would be a cold move to trade Abreu just as the Sox appear to be turning the corner. But it wouldn’t be the first time the Sox traded a star player to advance toward a pennant. In December of 1957 the Sox traded another Cuban star, Minnie Minoso, to the Cleveland Indians for Al Smith and Early Wynne. Two seasons later, the Sox won the A.L. pennant. Let’s trade Abreu and hope for a similar result.

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