GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Jose Abreu prefers to play first base over serving as designated hitter, but not enough to leave the South Side of Chicago and go to the National League.
"No, not even a joke," said Abreu through interpreter Billy Russo on Tuesday morning. "I want to spend my whole career with the White Sox organization because they were the ones who gave me the opportunity to play here.
"And they have done a lot for me. I would love to be here."
Including this season, the White Sox have four more years of control over Abreu through his six-year, $68 million deal. He can opt into arbitration after the 2016 season, but the overall money amount stands as the highest in franchise history.
General manager Rick Hahn was glad to hear the comments from Abreu, adding that he's heard similar sentiments from recently acquired players concerning a potential long-term fit with the White Sox. Hahn added that with two straight seasons of at least 30 homers and 100 RBIs, Abreu has met the highest of expectations.
"You look at production alone, it's been fantastic, in terms of what he's done on the field," Hahn said. "But you look at how much he has been asked to give in terms of a transition to a new culture, new league and how flawlessly he has been able to do that and how well he fits into our clubhouse, and how focused he is on winning ... all of that is a huge testament to his makeup and the type of character he has.
"That was the type of player we thought we were getting. But until you have him on a day-in, day-out basis, you aren't sure and you don't truly appreciate it."
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.