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Abreu happy to talk about ASG, not rumors

MLB.com @scottmerkin

SEATTLE -- There will be a fair share of trade talk involving White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu leading into the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline.

Even in the process of trying to work his way out of a slump that dropped his average from .319 on May 26 to .253 entering Friday's second-half opener in Seattle, Abreu remains one of the most dangerous middle-of-the-order hitters in all of baseball. He is earning $13 million this season and is under team control for '19.

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SEATTLE -- There will be a fair share of trade talk involving White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu leading into the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline.

Even in the process of trying to work his way out of a slump that dropped his average from .319 on May 26 to .253 entering Friday's second-half opener in Seattle, Abreu remains one of the most dangerous middle-of-the-order hitters in all of baseball. He is earning $13 million this season and is under team control for '19.

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But whether those trade winds push Abreu toward Houston, Colorado or any other logical landing place, Abreu won't spend any time talking about just the possibility.

"We don't talk about things we can't control," said Abreu through interpreter Billy Russo. "We talk about the positive things. We talk about motivational things.

"Like I said, I'm really glad to be in this organization. I would like to stay in this organization forever. As for rumors, we don't talk about rumors."

Tweet from @whitesox: Jos�� Abreu had an exciting two days in Washington, D.C., preparing for the 2018 #AllStarGame, which ended in a 10-inning 8-6 American League victory.PHOTOS:

Abreu will talk about his second All-Star experience and his first career start at first base for the American League team, playing out Monday and Tuesday in Washington, D.C. He raved about having his wife, Yusmary, his sons, Dariel Eduardo and Josue Dariel, and his parents with him as part of his family and close friends' contingency.

He also talked about Aaron Judge's impressive batting-practice session and his favorite moment coming before Tuesday's game.

"The meeting with the manager from Houston, AJ Hinch, it was a very motivational meeting," Abreu said. "He treated us all with respect. He spoke from the bottom of his heart. It was very special.

"Aaron Judge. Wow, it was incredible. He's not a human."

Aside from being with his family, Abreu's greatest thrill was representing the White Sox. It's an opportunity played out with the best of the game, even if Abreu humbly doesn't consider himself on that same level.

"As a person? Yes," said a smiling Abreu. "My mom and my dad they taught me to be grateful. The White Sox organization were the ones who gave me the opportunity to make my mom's dream come true and my dream come true too.

"I'm really honored and grateful for that opportunity. It's something that will always be with me."

Garcia set to return

Avisail Garcia, sidelined by a Grade 1 right hamstring strain since July 9, will come off the disabled list prior to Saturday night's game vs. the Mariners, although nothing was official as of Friday night. Outfielder Ryan LaMarre was optioned to Triple-A Charlotte to make room following Seattle's 3-1 victory over the White Sox. 

"For sure this weekend," Garcia said. "I'm ready to go."

"We did some cutoffs and relays, he did some outfield defensive work earlier today," White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. "He's going to go thorough [batting practice] and then we'll see how he responds from that. But he's been feeling good."

Garcia previously missed from April 24 to June 22 with a Grade 2 right hamstring strain. He knew this injury would take less recovery time.

"Yeah, 100 percent. The next day I was walking like normally," Garcia said. "But I feel good. I feel ready."

Delmonico makes his return

After appearing in 10 rehab games with Triple-A Charlotte and Double-A Birmingham, Nicky Delmonico returned to the White Sox lineup Friday night. He was placed on the disabled list on May 19 with a fractured finger on his right hand.

"A couple games into Charlotte I felt like I was getting my timing back. I felt good," Delmonico said. "I felt like I was seeing all pitches, which was really good to feel.

"Going into at-bats eight weeks away from seeing live pitching, that's when you want to see, 'Am I recognizing everything? Am I on time?' I felt really good. It's awesome to see everybody and to be back with the team that you started out with. It's a lot of fun when you walk in and see everybody."

Kopech returning to dominance

Michael Kopech, the No. 2 White Sox prospect per MLB Pipeline, has fanned 20 and walked two over his last two starts for Charlotte, covering 12 innings. He had walked 22 over his previous 23 innings pitched.

"His last two outings have been dominant. That would be a good way of describing it," Renteria said. "It's just a matter of allowing him to do it consistently.

"Again, there's still a large window here as we're moving forward to have him continue to have starts down there and continue to pitch and hopefully do well and repeat what he's doing. You can't expect it to happen all of the time, but as long as he's moving in the right direction, we're pretty happy with the progress he's making."

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Chicago White Sox, Jose Abreu, Nicky Delmonico, Avisail Garcia, Michael Kopech