After a disappointing 2013 campaign, the White Sox offseason could be getting interesting in a hurry.
ESPN's Buster Olney tweeted Wednesday afternoon that the Sox are among the frontrunners in the upcoming bidding war over Cuban defector Jose Abreu, considered by many to be an incredibly talented prospect.
Bidding on Cuba defector Jose Abreu is expected to be for a $70 million deal, sources say. White Sox,Astros, Rangers viewed as frontrunners.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) October 16, 2013
Olney's tweet also indicated that the price tag will be very high on the 26-year-old Cuban slugger. And be aware that it is the monstrous bat that defines Abreu, not athleticism or his ability with the glove. He'd likely fit as a first baseman or designated hitter, and if the Sox were to land him, it could signal the direction they're considering on potential free agent/retiree Paul Konerko.
After the breakout 2013 season of Cuban outfielder Yasiel Puig, competing in the NLCS with the Los Angeles Dodgers, observers are even higher on Abreu. The Sox do have a recent history of landing Cuban free agents. Both Alexei Ramirez and Dayan Viciedo came to the South Side following careers in Cuba.
In fact, another ESPN report, from Jerry Crasnick last month, cited someone who compared Abreu to Viciedo — though the source called Abreu "not as athletic."
Regardless of whether they can cash in on this winter's biggest international free agent, the Sox are expected to be active this offseason.