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Could Boston get Abreu after missing out in '13?

Red Sox reportedly in contact with White Sox about possible trade for 1st baseman
MLB.com @IanMBrowne

BOSTON -- Four years ago, Red Sox executives were smarting with disappointment when Jose Abreu signed as an international free agent with the White Sox. Boston was one of four finalists for Abreu at that time.

Perhaps the slugging first baseman will finally end up in Boston, with the chance to take aim at the Green Monster for 81 home games a year.

BOSTON -- Four years ago, Red Sox executives were smarting with disappointment when Jose Abreu signed as an international free agent with the White Sox. Boston was one of four finalists for Abreu at that time.

Perhaps the slugging first baseman will finally end up in Boston, with the chance to take aim at the Green Monster for 81 home games a year.

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MLB Network's Jon Heyman reported on Wednesday that the White Sox have been active with the Red Sox and other teams in trade discussions regarding the right-handed-hitting Abreu.

Boston has made it no secret how much it covets a power hitter this offseason to help improve production for a team that finished last in the American League with 168 home runs in 2017.

In his four years in the Major Leagues, Abreu has been a solid and consistent run producer, averaging 31 homers and 103 RBIs and producing an .883 OPS. He has also been durable, playing 154 games or more in three of his four seasons and surpassing 600 plate appearances each year.

Acquiring Abreu would be a shorter-term commitment at a more affordable cost than some of the other hitters the Red Sox have inquired about, which include free agents J.D. Martinez and Eric Hosmer.

Abreu is arbitration-eligible for two more seasons, and he would be eligible for free agency at the end of the 2019 season. He earned $10.825 million in '17 after avoiding arbitration.

The White Sox and Red Sox made a blockbuster trade at last year's Winter Meetings, when Chris Sale went to Boston for a package that included top prospects Yoan Moncada and Michael Kopech.

The White Sox are still in rebuild mode, so they'd likely be looking for more young players from Boston.

It remains to be seen if Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski is willing to trade any more premier prospects after moving his share for Craig Kimbrel and Sale the past two years.

"We have to be careful at some point," Dombrowski said earlier this month. "We've traded a lot of young guys. We're trying to rebuild our system a little bit at the same time the last couple of years with our Draft picks. I think we've started that process pretty well. I'm not really looking to trade a bunch of young guys."

Abreu is one of several players the Red Sox are likely to eye when it comes to filling their vacancy at first base. Aside from Hosmer, there are several other productive free agents on the market, including Carlos Santana and Logan Morrison.

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Boston Red Sox, Jose Abreu