As the Colorado Rockies linger on the edge of the playoff race, Jose Abreu could fill one particular need.
With a 39-42 record entering Friday, the Colorado Rockies are eight games back in the NL West and five games back of the second Wild Card. The Chicago White Sox are 16.5 games back in the AL Central, with leading All-Star vote-getter (among American League first baseman, as of Thursday) Jose Abreu as a potential trade chip.
The Rockies have been outscored 430-382 this season, including 252-205 at home at Coors Field. Pitching, both rotation and bullpen, stand out as major needs. But Jon Heyman of FanCred Sports points to the Rockies as a fit for Abreu, and it makes sense even if the White Sox value him highly as a veteran presence in the clubhouse.
Ian Desmond has shown signs of life in June, with seven home runs and a .960 OPS. But he’s still only got a .215/.295/.438 slash-line on the season, albeit with 16 home runs (tied for second on the team) and 46 RBI (third on the team). He’s also a bit miscast as a full-time first baseman, and he could still get regular at-bats in a super-utility role if Abreu was acquired.
The Rockies were significantly involved the initial bidding for Abreu, which the White Sox of course won in October of 2013. The Cuban defector is having a solid but not great season this year (.271, 12 home runs, 46 RBI, .801 OPS), and he’s making $13 million this year before being able to hit free agency after 2019.
Coors Field is still the most hitter-friendly park around, but even with that the Rockies’ run differential split (-47 at home, -1 on the road) has to be among the most pronounced in baseball. Shy of acquiring an arm or two, in a fairly thin trade market for pitching, adding Abreu as a shot in the arm to the middle of the lineup looks like a solid course of action.