Moments after Jose Abreu was introduced by the Houston Astros after signing a three-year contract with the World Series champions, White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf issued a statement about the former Sox slugger who played nine seasons on the South Side.
“Jos? Abreu deservedly belongs among the roster of White Sox franchise all-time greats,” Reinsdorf said. “His determination and commitment to the game each and every day made him the consummate professional, always leading by example. It was my fervent hope that Jos? would never wear another uniform, as I told him many times throughout the years. Unfortunately, hope is not always translated into reality. While we ended up in different places in the business side of the game, Jos? and I always shared the same love of baseball.
“I am grateful to Jos? for his friendship, and the impact he made for the White Sox franchise 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 written in the White Sox record books forever.”
Abreu donned a No. 79 Astros jersey, the number he wore with the Sox, when he was introduced Tuesday.
“Being a part of this ballpark and this family is something that I am so much looking forward to, and I think that a lot of great things can happen here,” Abreu told reporters through a translator.
Abreu, the 2020 American League MVP who ranks third on the White Sox’ all-time home run list, was one of the biggest free agent names on the market even though he will be 36 next season. Astros owner Jim Crane said that Abreu was a top target and signed him to a $60 million deal.
Abreu said the Sox made him an offer but said it was not formal. He signed a six-year, $68 million deal as a Cuban free agent before the 2014 season and a three-year, $50 million deal before the 2020 season.