White Sox: Jose Abreu Opts Into Arbitration For Next Season

White Sox slugger opts for arbitration for higher annual salary for next season, voing remain three years on current contract. The team will most likely pay Abreu more for 2017 then if he hadn’t opted for arbitration.

The Chicago White Sox will likely have to pay slugger Jose Abreu more to play next season as he opted into arbitration on Monday. According to mlbtraderumors.com, Abreu opted out of his remaining three years and $34 million on his contract.

Abreu originally signed a 6-year $68 million contract during the 2013 offseason with the Sox. His contract included the option for him to opt into arbitration after three seasons. The native Cuban is coming off another solid season where he hit .293 with 25 home runs and 100 RBIs. Although Abreu started the 2016 season slowly, he had a strong finish to his third MLB season.

While the Sox are in the midst of a potential rebuild, they will also need to make a decision on paying Abreu a higher annual salary for next season. Abreu will most likely receive an bump in salary from his previous contract. Under his original contract, Abreu was expected to earn $10.5 million next season. Abreu could receive a raise in his annual salary for 2017 of more than $11.6 million according to mlbtraderumors.com.

It will be hard for Abreu to command an annual salary for next season of more than $13 million, but it does make sense for the 2014 Rookie of the Year to opt for more money. According to Tim Dierkes of mlbtradrumors.com, he’s projecting Abreu to receive a salary of $12 million for next season with the Sox. Abreu’s decision to opt into arbitration shouldn’t hinder the Sox ability to rebuild, if this is the route they ultimately take.

Rumor-Washington Nationals Inquire About Chris Sale

Sep 11, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Chris Sale (49) throws against the Kansas City Royals during the first inning at U.S. Cellular Field. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Bob Nightengle of USA Today reported the Washington Nationals inquired about Chris Sale. However, Nightengale noted the Sox haven’t had any serious talks with teams about a trade for Sale.

It’s interesting the Nationals would inquire about Sale, but not surprising. Although the Nationals boast a solid starting rotation with Max Scherzer, Gio Gonzalez and Stephen Strasburg, they could possibly become favorites in the National League next season by adding Sale to its rotation.

The Sox would certainly ask for a hefty return from the Nationals, and Washington has some solid prospects they could part with. Nationals top prospect Lucas Giolito would certainly be at the top of the list for the Sox if they were to trade Sale to Washington. Giolito is listed as the third top prospect in MLB according to mlbpipeline.com.

With rumors continuing to swirl regarding the status of the Sox rebuild, expect more interesting trading partners to arise. The Sox are in a good position as they have two solid starting pitchers they could trade in Sale and Jose Quintana. If the Sox do have a complete rebuild, this team could certainly be more exciting in just a few seasons.

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