When Ken Williams went on a scouting mission to the Dominican Republic in October to see Jose Abreu, he hoped he wouldn’t like what he’d see. “The prices on some of these signings have gotten out of control,’’ Williams said, and there was talk that Abreu’s contract would exceed fellow Cuban Yasiel Puig’s $42 million deal. After seeing him, the White Sox executive vice president had no doubt Abreu was the real deal. Four weeks later, Abreu was signed to a six-year, $68 million contract. After watching that batting-practice session, which was nothing about showmanship and everything about a professional approach to hitting, Williams said that he wanted to give Abreu a standing ovation. He got on the phone to chairman Jerry Reinsdorf and general manager Rick Hahn. “I said, ‘Here’s where we are boys: I want him, and I want him bad.’ ’’ The Sox won the bidding tussle for Abreu, which involved five teams offering somewhere around the $60 million mark. Williams and everyone else associated with the Sox are glad they did. The 27-year-old rookie leads the majors with 10 homers, and he collected his major-league-leading 32nd RBI with his second of two singles in the Sox’ 7-3 victory over the Rays. He’s beginning to pour it on.
Jose Abreu was not going to escape Jerry Reinsdorf
Chicago Sun-Times | May 1