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Inbox: Will White Sox part with Abreu?

Beat reporter Scott Merkin answers fans' questions about rebuild
MLB.com @scottmerkin

Are the White Sox likely to trade Jose Abreu?
-- Lisa, Chicago

The team traded Chris Sale, one of the game's top starting pitchers, so no veteran without extended team control is off limits during the White Sox rebuild. But Abreu will stay and eventually (not necessarily this season) get a contract extension. Other teams won't match the high value the White Sox have for Abreu. These young prospects give great hope for the future, but every rebuild needs key veterans to complete the championship process.

Are the White Sox likely to trade Jose Abreu?
-- Lisa, Chicago

The team traded Chris Sale, one of the game's top starting pitchers, so no veteran without extended team control is off limits during the White Sox rebuild. But Abreu will stay and eventually (not necessarily this season) get a contract extension. Other teams won't match the high value the White Sox have for Abreu. These young prospects give great hope for the future, but every rebuild needs key veterans to complete the championship process.

What are your thoughts on trying Tim Anderson in the outfield? Anderson possesses great athleticism and playing the outfield would still enable him to utilize his two greatest assets -- his speed and his arm.
-- Pete, Hammond, Ind.

Anderson is steadily improving at shortstop, and he is determined to make this spot his own for many years on the South Side. As he told me recently, though, he feels a position change to center, even steeped in the hypothetical, is something he could handle. For now, he'll stay at shortstop, but with his high athleticism, the possibility for change is always there.

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Is it time to give up on Carson Fulmer? He hasn't seemed to improve much during the times he's been given opportunities in the Majors over the past few seasons.
-- Sol, New York

Ultimately, Fulmer might fit as a valuable component in the bullpen -- I've had a couple of scouts tell me as much. Fulmer certainly isn't the first and won't be the last highly-touted prospect to go back to the Minors to improve things. He will be part of the White Sox next contending team.

Besides the big-name prospects, who are some of the lesser-known prospects that have really improved themselves already this year?
-- John, Chicago

I've heard good reports about infielder Laz Rivera, who was a 28th-round pick in the 2017 Draft. Ian Hamilton, an 11th-round pick in the 2016 Draft, should be part of the White Sox bullpen at some point this season. And Kirk Champion, the director of Minor League pitching, mentioned a number of names in a story I did Tuesday.

Any chance the Sox buck their recent trend and draft a high schooler in the first round?
-- Eric, Pekin, Ill.

Nick Hostetler, who has done an outstanding job at the helm of the White Sox Draft, said this past weekend one of the six or seven final players being considered for their No. 4 pick was a high school player. But I'm all but certain they will go with a college player with that selection.

Could you get an update on future closer Zach Burdi, who is recovering from Tommy John surgery?
-- Tom, Chicago

I talked to Burdi a few weeks ago, and he was brimming with confidence. He has learned a lot while being on the sideline, both in terms of fine-tuning mechanics with his delivery and physical conditioning. He was throwing bullpens and using the slider during warmups. As general manager Rick Hahn said, this season is all about getting healthy for Burdi and next year is about a return to competitiveness. He still could pitch competitively this season, with the Arizona Fall League being a possibility.

What do I tell my friends that prefer the show "Friends" to "Seinfeld"? How do I tell them they're wrong?
-- Dave, Hoffman Estates, Ill., @daviemars

Be direct but understanding, Dave. "Friends" was entertaining, but those last two seasons of "Seinfeld" might have been the best two years for a sitcom in television history.

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, Jose Abreu, Tim Anderson, Carson Fulmer