Astros’ Jose Abreu disaster may prove Jed Hoyer isn’t as dumb as Cubs fans think

The Cubs dodge another horrendous contract but is the time for a flier.
Houston Astros v Los Angeles Angels
Houston Astros v Los Angeles Angels / Ronald Martinez/GettyImages

Before the Chicago Cubs attempted to fix their first base problem before the 2023 season with veteran reclamation projects Eric Hosmer and Trey Mancini, the offseason began with speculation that former Chicago White Sox first baseman and 2020 American League MVP Jose Abreu would be the priority target of the North Siders.

Reports were that the Cubs may have offered Abreu a two-year deal worth $40MM but ultimately, the Astros offered a third year.

Abreu signed a 3-year, $58.5MM deal with the Astros prior to the 2023 season but he is already unemployed. The Astros announced on Friday that they have released Abreu and will be on the hook for the remaining $30MM+ owed to the veteran first baseman.

Abreu's time with the Astros will ultimately go down as forgettable, compiling a career-low wRC+ of 86 last season only to see that number drop to 3 this season.

Jed Hoyer got this move right.

For all the criticism that has been thrown at Jed Hoyer's direction over the course of the past month, this is a decision that he got right. Even with the need that the Cubs had at first base prior to the 2023 season, it would have been a reach for Hoyer to sign Abreu to the deal that he got with the Astros. Especially when you factor in the original plan for the Cubs in 2023 was not to contend.

Now, here is the thing, the Cubs' offense is so bad this season that Craig Counsell, a noted hater of bunts, turned to three consecutive bunts on Thursday as a way to attempt to spark an offense struggling to score runs. All this to say that with the Astros on the hook for the rest of their contract with the Abreu, the Cubs should at least make an overture at bringing the veteran first baseman back to Chicago on a minor-league deal.

Abreu did post a wRC+ of 109 during the second half of the 2023 season. Of course, if Abreu is willing, the Cubs would be free to bring in the former MVP and give him a run at Triple-A Iowa to see if he can find his offensive approach. It's essentially the same thing the Cubs are trying in the bullpen with their recent minor-league signing of Jorge Lopez.