Breaking down Jose Abreu’s contract with the White Sox

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Jose Abreu and the White Sox officially announced their six-year, $68 million contract today with a press conference in Chicago and here are the year-by-year details:

Signing bonus: $10 million
2014: $7 million
2015: $7 million
2016: $10 million
2017: $10.5 million
2018: $11.5 million
2019: $12 million

There’s been a lot made about Abreu getting the largest contract ever for a non-Japanese international signing, but realistically he won’t have to be much more than an average-hitting first baseman to be worth the above salaries and if he turns into a star-caliber slugger he’ll be a bargain.

You can watch video of Abreu’s press conference thanks to our friends at CSNChicago.com.

Kyle Schwarber is “probably, arguably” in The Best Shape of His Life

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Joe Maddon just held his annual media availability here at the Winter Meetings. During the scrum he said that Kyle Schwarber “looked great the other day” at a Cubs community event and that . . . wait for it . . . “he’s in, probably, arguably in the best shape of his life.” Maddon went on to say that, if Schwarber looks good in spring training, he might even be the Cubs leadoff hitter in 2018.

Schwarber is only 24, but the former catcher turned outfielder is going to spend most of his career as a DH, with another team obviously, unless he shows the Cubs that he can be a regular defender. The Cubs would love to see him in better shape whether they keep him or shop him, and if it’s the latter, they’ll want to show potential trade partners that he can play defense so as not to limit his market. It’s in everyone’s interests for him to be lean, mean and a bit more flexible once spring training starts.

To that end, according to a recent report, Schwarber “has been on a mission this offseason to transform his body.” And now Maddon is playing up the BSOHL angle. Whether that’s salesmanship or not, all eyes are going to be on Schwarber come February.