White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu

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Levine: In Best Interest Of All, White Sox Should Trade Jose Abreu

Abreu is in the back end of his prime as the White Sox continue to flounder.

Bruce Levine
June 13, 2018 - 7:35 pm

By Bruce Levine--

CHICAGO (670 The Score) -- In fairness to first baseman Jose Abreu and the future of the White Sox, it's best if he's traded by the non-waiver deadline that passes July 31.

Why by then? Because it's all about timing. The 31-year-old Abreu is in the back end of his prime and producing at a high level. As he does, the White Sox still aren't close to being a contender. And in another important aspect, Abreu is in the second-to-last season of his contract. The White Sox can fetch a higher return if the acquiring team gets a chance at two playoff runs with Abreu in the picture.

"It is very difficult at this point to make a determination at this point as to where we are going," manager Rick Renteria said when asked if it's in the best interest of everyone to trade Abreu. "The expectation is by the way he takes care of himself that he will be able to maintain himself at a pretty peak status for awhile I believe. He is a very strong man. His desire and focus are excellent. No matter if he is 50 years old, he will want to compete the best he can."

Having entered the big leagues in 2014, Abreu has yet to play for a White Sox team that has won more than 78 games. And at 23-42 entering play Wednesday evening, the White Sox are on pace for their worst mark since 1970. Abreu deserves to play for a playoff team while he's at the top of his game.

This isn't the first time in this city that a baseball team has encountered such a situation. Cubs icon Ernie Banks was one of the game's most dominant players for more than a decade across the late 1950s and early 1960s, winning two MVP awards. It wasn't until 1967, in his age-36 season, that Banks finally played for a competitive Cubs team. While still a quality player for several more years, he was past his peak. Banks never played in the postseason in his 19-year career.

Many hints indicate that White Sox officials want to hold onto Abreu, who's a top-notch person and quality mentor in addition to being on a path to his second All-Star Game, likely as the starter. Abreu is having another strong season, hitting .286 with 10 homers, 38 RBIs and an .849 OPS in 64 games. 

As professional as Abreu has been and as well as he has represented the franchise, fans should recognize that he deserves to win as well. And from a business perspective, the White Sox deserve to cash in on his outstanding season in the form of a few prospects. The time is right to accomplish those goals.

Abreu maintains that he wants to stay with the White Sox. Letting him go and win elsewhere would be more considerate and more helpful for the organization's future.

Bruce Levine covers the Cubs and White Sox for 670 The Score. Follow him on Twitter @MLBBruceLevine.