MLB Rumors: José Abreu 'Top Priority' for Padres; Sides Have Been in Contact

Doric SamNovember 19, 2022

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - SEPTEMBER 22: Jose Abreu #79 of the Chicago White Sox celebrates in the dugout with teammates after scoring in the first inning against the Cleveland Guardians at Guaranteed Rate Field on September 22, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)
Quinn Harris/Getty Images

The San Diego Padres are looking to fill a hole at first base this offseason, and they could do so with a former American League MVP.

Jon Morosi of MLB.com reports that the Padres have already been in touch with free-agent slugger José Abreu, and the team considers him a "top priority" to add power to the middle of the lineup.

The Padres traded longtime first baseman Eric Hosmer to the Boston Red Sox at the 2022 deadline. San Diego also sent Luke Voit to the Washington Nationals as part of the blockbuster deal that acquired star outfielder Juan Soto. First baseman Josh Bell, who was also included in the Soto trade, is a free agent.

Abreu has spent his entire nine-year major league career with the Chicago White Sox. The 2020 AL MVP is coming off a campaign in which he hit .304/.378/.446 with 15 home runs and 75 RBI. His power numbers were down, however, as he launched 30 homers and racked up 117 RBI in 2021.

It's no surprise that the Padres are interested in adding a player like Abreu to an already star-studded lineup. The trade for Soto was an indication that San Diego is in win-now mode and will do whatever it takes to compete for a spot in the World Series.

The Padres cleared a major hurdle in achieving their goal after their upset win in the National League Division Series over the Los Angeles Dodgers, who had the best record in the majors last season. However, San Diego fell to the Philadelphia Phillies in the NLCS in five games.

Adding Abreu to a lineup that includes Soto, Manny Machado and Fernando Tatis Jr. would help solidify the Padres as contenders in the NL for years to come.