Chicago White Sox president Jerry Reinsdorf summed up José Abreu’s legacy with the team as belonging “among the list of the White Sox franchise’s all-time greats.”
Reinsdorf thanked and congratulated Abreu, who on Monday signed a three-year contract with the Houston Astros after spending his first nine seasons as the Sox’s first baseman.
“His determination and commitment to the game every day has made him a consummate professional, always leading by example,” Reinsdorf said in a statement Tuesday.
The 2020 American League Most Valuable Player and three-time All-Star ranks in the franchise’s top 10 in multiple offensive categories, including third with 243 homers.
Abreu, through an interpreter, told reporters Tuesday in Houston that the Sox “made me an offer.”
“It was a very good offer, but I think we’ll leave it at that,” Abreu said. “I think God knows why he’s doing what he’s doing, and so we’re here.”
Financial terms of the deal with the Astros have not been released, but it is reportedly worth nearly $60 million.
“It’s always a tough day from an emotional standpoint or from a fan standpoint when you see a franchise icon put on a different uniform,” Sox general manager Rick Hahn said during an interview. a videoconference on Tuesday. “It’s a day no one plans to see, but the realities on the business side sometimes dictate that things like this happen.”
Hahn was unwilling to discuss negotiations or an offer, noting, “We only talk about deals that happen.”
Abreu has cut .304/.378/.446 with 15 home runs and 75 RBIs in 157 games in 2022.
“I fervently hoped that Jose would never wear a uniform again, as I told him many times over the years,” Reinsdorf said in the statement. “Unfortunately, hope does not always translate into reality.
“Although we have found ourselves in different places on the business side of the game, José and I have always shared the same love of baseball. I am grateful to José for his friendship and the impact he has had for the franchise. White Sox both on the field and in the community.
“I want to thank him for always representing the values of the White Sox organization and the great city of Chicago – strength, hard work, pride and tenacity. His legacy is forever inscribed in the White Sox record books. Sox.
The Sox open the season against Abreu and the Astros on March 30 in Houston.
“It’s only normal that we face the White Sox on opening day,” Abreu said, according to The Associated Press. “I’m just going to keep working all this time and give it my all.”