Yesterday, the White Sox did something they haven’t done before. They signed Yasmani Grandal to the largest contract in team history, and I’m a huge fan of that move. Today, they did something they have done before — commit to José Abreu. He signed a three-year, $50 million contract extension replacing the qualifying offer he had accepted, which will keep him with the team through 2022.
If you’re determined to see this deal through a cold, analytical lens, you might wonder whether it makes sense. $50 million is a lot for a first baseman, after all, and it’s particularly a lot for a first baseman who finished 14th in WAR at the position in 2019 and who will be 35 by the end of the extension.
If you’re feeling uncharitable, you might impugn Chicago’s process. Abreu was an All Star, received MVP votes, and led the AL in RBI. In a previous era, no one would question this deal (assuming the money were era-adjusted). It’s tempting to say that the Sox are stuck in the past, the front office equivalent of a Hall of Fame ballot blank save for Jeter — that signing Grandal was a rare moment of timeliness from a broken clock.
But to me, that’s a poor reading of…