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MLB trade rumors: Yankees, Mets battling for star first baseman?

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Will the Yankees or Mets trade for Chicago White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu? (David Banks | USA TODAY Sports)
Will the Yankees or Mets trade for Chicago White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu? (David Banks | USA TODAY Sports)

By Joe Giglio

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jgiglio@njadvancemedia.com,

NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

There's nothing quite like a Yankees vs. Mets battle for a star player.

In 2005, Carlos Beltran was the apple of both teams' eyes in New York. This summer, Jose Abreu could represent that once again.

FRS Baseball's Jon Heyman recently put out a list of best bets and possible landing spots for veterans that could be moved this summer. The White Sox first baseman was linked to both the Mets and Yankees.

Can you imagine the damage he'd do at Coors Field? Ian Desmond is starting to show signs of regaining form after a rough first year in Colorado. But the Rockies overall offense isn't what it was, and Desmond could easily transition to a corner spot where they also need help. The other caveat is that Abreu is beloved on the South Side and a fine mentor for the young team. One person close to the situation says "the White Sox would have to be blown away" to deal him. Best bet: Rockies. Others: Mets, Yankees.

While Colorado was listed as Abreu's best bet, the fact that the next two teams reside in New York is telling.

Abreu, 31, is off to another strong start (.284/.350/.489) for the White Sox. The veteran owns a 131 OPS+ through the first quarter of the season. While that's slightly down from Abreu's career mark of 141, it's still 31 percent above league average.

For the Mets, the fit and need would be obvious. Abreu could become the team's everyday first baseman, taking over for Adrian Gonzalez and signalling the end of Dominic Smith's chances to take the job.

MLB takes

For the Yankees, it's a bit more complicated. Acquiring Abreu (under team control until 2020) would signal the end of the rope for Greg Bird's hold on the position. But for a Yankees team in win-now mode, Abreu's consistency (154 games, 31 HR per season) since coming over from Cuba would have to be attractive.

Abreu is making $18M this season, and can file for arbitration again in 2019.

Joe Giglio may be reached at jgiglio@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @JoeGiglioSports. Find NJ.com on Facebook.


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Source : http://www.nj.com/sports/index.ssf/2018/05/mlb_trade_rumors_yankees_mets_battling_for_star_fi.html

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