Cardinals Trade Target: Jose Abreu

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be looking at potentially available players that the Cardinals could target. First up is Jose Abreu, first baseman for the Chicago White Sox.

With the Sox in full rebuild mode, many speculate that Abreu will be available to teams needing thump in their lineup. He’ll be 31 when the 2018 season starts, so he’d be a little old for a rebuild.

Over his 4 years in the majors, he’s hit at least 25 homers and 100 RBIs in each season; his lowest WAR was 2016, where he was worth 2.8 wins. Through yesterday, he had a 4.7 WAR, which would be the second highest of his short career.

His 3 year average of his slash line is .297/.353/.510, which is solid; he also sports a .213 ISO over the past 3 years. It would also provide a team with a true middle of the order hitter.

If the Cardinals were interested, what should they expect? I show a potential .286/.352/.492 slash line, with 24 homers and 91 RBIs. My system projects his WAR at 2.9.

The main detriment to his projection was his comps by age; many are from 50+ years ago, with the exceptions being Kendrys Morales, Lyle Overbay, and Josh Hamilton. The recent guys were all decent players, but they weren’t guys who brought much to their lineups at this point. The comps, overall, averaged a WAR of 2.0, below his 3 year average.

The comps were also pretty healthy; of the 8 who played at age 31, 5 played at least 135 games and 6 were over 100.

The projections make me a little wary; I will throw this disclaimer though…the numbers and comps could change after the season. It might be something I revisit in a few weeks.

What about the cost? Abreu is arbitration eligible and under team control through 2020. His team control will raise the price of him, along with his good 2017 season. The White Sox have done pretty well with trades over the last year, so his cost will probably be high.

I’d expect they’d start by asking about Alex Reyes, but it’ll be a package comparable to Jack Flaherty, Harrison Bader, and Edmundo Sosa to get him. The issue with this package is all 3 players are on the 40-man; you might have to switch out some guys, like Dakota Hudson, Jose Adolis Garcia, Andrew Knizner, or Austin Gomber, so they don’t overload their 40-man with younger players and start service clocks.

I like Abreu, but there might be some better guys available for a less prospect cost. There are also some younger guys available on the free agent market. I’d definitely keep an eye on Abreu if other options don’t pan out.

Have suggestions for players the Cardinals should target in trades or free agency? Send me an email or post them in the comments and I’ll look at them in future installments.

11 thoughts on “Cardinals Trade Target: Jose Abreu

  • Jason Pulliam


  • Good analysis.

    I would like to keep Flaherty. So you think Hudson and a Gallen/Poncedeleon could get a deal done.

    If I were the Card’s GM, I would trade Matt Carpenter. He doesn’t have much of a position home, despite his great OBP. Fowler seems adaptable in whatever role in the lineup, he has, although now, he looks a bit out of water. He needs to play LF with his injury issues and diminishing skills.

    Finally, the hot stove is already cooking, with the Cardinals signaling interest in Josh Donaldson. I wonder if Toronto would take Gyorko (who is the headliner in the trade according to the source), plus Carson Kelly, Pham and Grichuk?

    • Montu Masters

      Why would you suggest that the Cardinals give up that much talent for “1 year of Donaldson”. He’s a UFA after 2018……and “sign & trade” deals are illegal in MLB. Two of those players should get the deal done…..IF Toronto even considers moving him (they haven’t said anything about doing that yet).

      Cards will have to sweeten the pot considerably over Gyorko (I think that writer has been nipping at a bottle if he thinks that “Gyorko as a headliner” gets a deal done….LOL). I doubt they trade Kelly, even after inking Molina to an extension. Grich is all but gone, but what possible value does he possess? High strikeout guy with power? Lots of those around…..(Love Grich…….but the supply / demand curve really bad there….value pretty low….).

      Cards should consider these moves:
      1. Move Carpenter for a back-end starter. He’d probably benefit from new scenery.
      2. Move Fowler (I know, almost impossible) and put Pham in CF. Cheaper, and Better Player….Period
      3. Trade Flaherty, O’Neill, and another prospect not named Bader to the Marlins for Stanton. Marlins pay $5 mil/year of Stanton’s deal for the 1st 3 years…….then add $30 Mil if Stanton “doesn’t opt out”. If he opts-out, the Fish are off the hook. Stanton is the MOB that they so desperately need.
      Lineup after these moves:

      2B Wong
      CF Pham
      SS DeJong
      RF Stanton
      1B Voit
      LF Bader
      C Molina/Kelly
      3B Gyorko/Diaz

      Piscotty/Garcia/Sierra/Grich reserves (or traded for better reserves….?)

  • Pass. The only players the Cardinals should target are ones they can confidently expect 4+ WAR from. Anything less than that, there is an in-house option that will suffice. The Cardinals’ problem is not a lack of 2-3 WAR players, so keep Flaherty or use him as a secondary piece for a great player, not a primary piece for a good player.

  • Michael

    As much as I’d like to have Stanton the cards should go after JD Martinez first. Why give up players to land Stanton if they could get a gret player on the market for just money? As for people wanting to trade Fowler and Kelly smh. My fellow card fan base makes me sick sometimes. Fowler has gotten nothing but hate since the day he signed. The warmest and best fans in baseball my arse. Dexter has raked when he’s been healthy. He has been one of our best producers. I am a gator fan, but UF players have done squat in MLB for the most part. But sure let’s roll with Bader and his small sample size and chase Fowler off with pitchforks. Also, voit hasn’t shown enough to go all in with him as a full time starter next year. I don’t have a problem handing them the starting job, but after we have a bigger sample size to say yes they are definitely ready which as of now they don’t have. Finally, card fans have complained for YEARS about not having a successor for Molina. Now we have Kelly and it’s trade him now! Molina can play until he is 50! You people are nuts. Good catchers are probably the rarest players to find. Sure kelly’s average is mediocre, but he has also had inconsistent playing time and went a month with what less than 2 dozen at bats? Hard to get in an offensive groove when you aren’t playing. But hey fellow card fans keep criticizing Fowler non stop, and keep booing Braun and cheering McGwire like hypocrites. Stay classy St Louis!

  • Trade for Abreu for 1st ! Sign Moose for 3rd! Resign Niasco for BP! Sign Wade Davis for closer! Think about resigning Lance Lynn! If not, then go with all the young guys in the rotation & move Waino to the BP! They will be getting Reyes back , hopefully healthy around the All-Star break! So that’s like another mid-season trade. Line-up would be; Wong-2B Dexter-LF Abreu-1B Moose-3B Piscotty-RF Yadi-C DeJong-SS Bader-CF PITCHER ROTATION-Martinez/Wacha/Weaver/Flahraty/Alancatra OR Lynn if resigned OR Reyes when healthy! Wade Davis -Closer

  • Cardinals trade Gyorko, Grichuk, and a minor league player to the DBacks for Lamb.

  • What do you think a package of Harrison Bader, Delvin Perez, and Austin Gomber for Abreu?

    • I really don’t think it’s enough, based off the packages the White Sox received this past season for their veterans. They will require Weaver or Flaherty, plus 2 you mentioned, plus a lower level guy. Abreu is almost a top level talent and they’ll want a package like they got for Eaton or Quintana.

      • Don’t disagree he is a top level talent. Only difference compared to the other two guys mentioned is that Abreu’s contract is half as long as the other two when they were traded and he will be making about double the amount of them each year. Any chance the cards would part with Reyes in a trade like that? Would def require less quantity of prospects if he is involved I’d think.

        • I don’t see the team being interested in trading Reyes. I think any trade they talk about, the other team will ask about him though. If they were to deal him, the other prospects would definitely be lower level – probably high ceiling, high risk guys in the lower minors.

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