Jose Abreu’s contract includes language that would allow him to go to arbitration with the White Sox after his first three seasons are complete.
The 6-foot-3, 255-pound first baseman becomes the 17th Cuban to play for the White Sox after he finalized a six-year, $68-million deal with the club on Tuesday. The contract includes a $10-million signing bonus, and Abreu will earn $7 million in each of the next two seasons and $10 million in 2016. He’s also set to make $10.5 million in 2017, $11.5 million in 2018 and $12 million in 2019.
But Abreu has the option of cancelling those final three guaranteed seasons and instead heading to arbitration with the White Sox if he prefers, his agent Barry Praver said Tuesday.
“That will become his choice if he chooses to do so,” Praver said.
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The White Sox would probably have few complaints if Abreu were in a position where he felt arbitration was necessary. With Abreu already earning $34 million over those three seasons, the slugger would have to be off to a “sensational start” to his career to require a bigger salary. Considering the White Sox have pegged Abreu, 26, as a middle-of-the-order hitter, one who can help to turn around an offense that finished 15th in runs in the American League in 2013, they’d be more than happy if they had to pay more because Abreu’s performance merited such a raise.
“Since it would have no impact on our total years of control, we’ll classify that scenario as a good problem to have,” Hahn said.