Like everyone else, Jose Abreu waiting on decision from Manny Machado
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GLENDALE, Ariz. — It’s hard not to talk about Manny Machado even though he’s not here, and may not be.
“Honestly talking, I think everyone in every organization is talking about him,’’ White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu said before the team’s first full-squad workout of spring training Monday. “Just to have the chance to have him as a teammate or as a part of your organization. . . . But we don’t know where he is in his mind or his plan. We would like to have him, definitely.’’
The sweepstakes for Machado, the coveted 26-year-old free agent being pursued by the Sox, is picking up steam with a reported offer of $250 million over eight years on the table from the Padres. Fans everywhere are refreshing Twitter feeds for updates knowing the Sox are in the mix and wondering how much they are willing to spend.
“But if we don’t get him, I think we’re going to be OK, too,” Abreu said, speaking through translator Billy Russo, “because we have guys with talent that can play and that help this team to win games, too. It would be very good for us to have him, but if we don’t have him, then we will be good, too.”
That remains to be seen. With Machado, the Sox in all likelihood still are not a contender for another season. If he doesn’t become a White Sox, it won’t be for lack of effort from Abreu, who was in on the organization’s meeting with Machado and manager Rick Renteria in December.
“It was good. It was an outstanding conversation,’’ Abreu said. “Ricky and I talked to him about the organization, our plan, what we want to accomplish here. And he got it. He understood that.
“Right now it’s just see and wait what his decision’s going to be.’’
Abreu, 32, the Sox’ two-time All-Star working under the organization’s biggest contract ever — six years, $68 million —wants to remain with the team past the expiration of that deal at the end of the season. He dodged the first question about that, but not the second.
“They are things that you can’t control,’’ he said of entering the year not knowing what lies beyond this season. “But being on the inside of this [Sox rebuilding] process, you know that there are a few teams who are doing things the right way, and I would like to stay with this organization forever.’’
This and that
Renteria declined to share much of his message to players before the first full-squad workout. After a long pause, he said, “We are trending in the right direction, that’s all I’m going to tell you. We got high expectations. So, it was a very positive message I thought.’’
• Renteria expects his first base/designated hitter timeshare between Abreu and Yonder Alonso to go smoothly. Abreu expects to get more time as the designated hitter and is agreeable to it, but that doesn’t mean he has to like it.
“I don’t like to DH,” he said in English, although he was smiling.