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Inbox: Where does Abreu fit with White Sox?

Beat reporter Scott Merkin answers questions from fans
MLB.com @scottmerkin

At age 30 and already arbitration-eligible, does Jose Abreu have a future with the White Sox?
-- Joe, Athens, Ga., @drjoedennis on Twitter

Absolutely. Abreu is an imposing middle-of-the-order presence offensively, earning plaudits from Justin Verlander over the weekend as to how he makes adjustments quickly. Abreu also has worked diligently to become a better defensive player at first base.

At age 30 and already arbitration-eligible, does Jose Abreu have a future with the White Sox?
-- Joe, Athens, Ga., @drjoedennis on Twitter

Absolutely. Abreu is an imposing middle-of-the-order presence offensively, earning plaudits from Justin Verlander over the weekend as to how he makes adjustments quickly. Abreu also has worked diligently to become a better defensive player at first base.

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But what has impressed me most this season is how Abreu's gregarious personality is showing through on a daily basis. He has become the voice of the franchise among the players, a role previously held for many years by Paul Konerko, and he has profound influence on the clubhouse. Rebuilds are centered on elite young players, but they need quality veterans such as Abreu in the picture.

Who do you think the White Sox might sign as their Derek Holland-type bounce-back guy this year?
-- Dayton, Springfield, Ill., @daycri83

I'm not going to get into the guessing game at this point from the ranks of potential free-agent pitchers, including Alex Cobb, Tyler Chatwood and Lance Lynn. General manager Rick Hahn said the team will spend when the time is right, and he admitted recently they probably won't know the gaps to be filled on their next "championship team" going into 2018. But Hahn did add this following comment about the upcoming free-agent market.

"We are not writing off anything," Hahn said. "We are not closing off any doors. You need to be opportunistic with how the market moves."

While I don't look for a big-ticket signing this offseason, there could be more than a bounce-back move to be found.

Who are two names not among the White Sox top prospects who we should look to make the leap with the blue chippers in a few years?
-- Dan, Lisle, Ill., @2828Grant

I've heard great things about infielder Justin Yurchak, the team's 12th-round pick in the 2017 Draft. The same goes for right-handed pitcher Jordan Stephens, who is No. 20 on the White Sox prospects per MLBPipeline.com but has been overshadowed a bit by the seemingly more renowned young hurlers such as Reynaldo Lopez, Lucas Giolito and Michael Kopech.

Did you know Ricky's boys don't quit?
-- Gabe, Chicago, @GabeNotDave

I've heard that once or twice. Beyond that mantra, White Sox manager Rick Renteria and his staff have done an exceptional job of setting the tone for what they expect from the organization, from the Majors to the Minors, really from instructional league play in October. It's an important stabilizing factor in the rebuild.

Yolmer Sanchez has been playing a solid third base. In your opinion is he more valuable at this time than Tyler Saladino?
-- Nick, Vernon Hills, Ill., @chitownhawkeye

The organization really likes what Sanchez has done at third, and he has great value to the team: even showing a little more power than expected. As Saladino told me recently, after battling through a back injury this season that could have been career-threatening, he simply is happy to be playing. A healthy Saladino also stands as a valuable super-sub piece for this team.

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Chicago White Sox