Jon Heyman reports that the Chicago White Sox have been in “active talks” with Boston Red Sox and other teams regarding a trade of first baseman Jose Abreu.
Abreu, the 2014 Rookie of the Year, hit .304/.354/.552 with 33 homers and 102 RBI last year, leading the American League in total bases. He turns 31 in January. The White Sox are in the midst of a comprehensive tear-down and rebuild, having already dealt Chris Sale, Adam Eaton, Todd Frazier, David Robertson, Melky Cabrera and Jose Quintana while building one of the best farm systems in baseball. In light of that, Abreu is clearly someone Chicago would be looking to deal despite the power he brings to the lineup.
His contract is pretty reasonable for a guy with his numbers. He’s under team control through 2019, and will be owed a salary $11.5 million next season and $12 million the following year. The Red Sox, of course, are in need of a first baseman and have been suggested as suitors for Eric Hosmer and Carlos Santana. Abreu would cost the team some prospects, but he’d come far cheaper in terms of salary over the next two years.
Seems like a good fit. And, either way, you can be sure the Sox will win the trade.
Athletics president Dave Kaval is ready to take full advantage of the interleague series between the Giants and A’s this season. While the two teams customarily play a few preseason “Battle of the Bay” games each year, they’re also scheduled to meet each other six times during the regular season; once for a three-game set in San Francisco, then for a three-game set in Oakland. On Saturday, Kaval announced that any Giants fans looking to park at the Coliseum this year will be charged $50 instead of the standard, general admission $30 — an additional “rivalry fee” that can be easily waived by shouting, “Go A’s!” at the gate.
This isn’t the first time that a major-league team has tried to keep rival fans at bay, though Kaval doesn’t seem all that intent on actually driving fans away from the ballpark. Back in 2012, the Nationals staged a “Take Back the Park” campaign after people began complaining that Phillies fans were overtaking Nationals Park during rivalry games. They limited a single-series presale of Nats-Phillies tickets to buyers within Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia in hopes of filling the stands with a few more friendly faces. Washington COO Andy Feffer told the press that while he would treat all guests with “respect and courtesy,” he wanted Phillies fans to feel irked enough to pay attention to the Nationals. In the end, things went… well, a little south for all involved.
Whether the Giants are planning any retaliatory measures has yet to be seen, but it’s not as if this is going to be an enforceable rule. The real travesty here, if you’re an A’s fan or just pretending to be one, is that the parking fees have increased from $20 to $30 this season. Unless you’re a season ticket holder with a prepaid $10 parking permit, it’s far better to brave the crowds and take advantage of local public transportation. There are bound to be far fewer irate Giants fans on BART than at the gates — even if the gag only lasts a few days out of the year.