NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- It didn't take long for Yoan Moncada -- the face of the White Sox future, acquired from Boston with three other prospects for Chris Sale on Tuesday -- to get in touch with Jose Abreu, the face of the White Sox present.
"Abreu texted me yesterday," Moncada said through translator Billy Russo during a conference call on Wednesday. "He welcomed me to the White Sox organization. We were talking a little bit about this opportunity for both of us to play again.
Moncada and Abreu played together with Cienfuegos in Cuba during the 2012 season. But before the switch-hitting infielder looks to Abreu for season-long advice, he'd better make sure the first baseman, who has accumulated at least 25 home runs and 100 RBIs in each of his first three big league seasons, remains with the White Sox.
General manager Rick Hahn has already added four of the Top 40 prospects in baseball, according to MLBPipeline, and seven in all through two Winter Meetings trades. Included in that haul is Moncada, who's No. 1 overall. On Wednesday evening, approximately three hours following the introduction of Moncada and Michael Kopech, who also was part of the return from Boston, right-handed pitchers Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez and Dane Dunning joined the group via a trade that sent outfielder Adam Eaton to the Washington Nationals.
Getting traded at such a young age is a jolt to a player. Kopech was going through an offseason workout on Tuesday and went into a physical therapy session as a member of the Boston Red Sox but left as a member of the White Sox. After processing the moment, the right-hander, who boasts a 100-mph fastball, is glad to be on the ground floor of the White Sox rebuild.
"As far as I know, this trade was like the starting block for that," Kopech said. "I'm excited about it. I'm sure they are excited about it, to have this rebuilding year, or years.
"Any time you get young talent, we're all wanting to compete and get to the same spot. Once you get there, you all want to win. That's the competitiveness in all of us."
Kopech felt as if he put too much pressure on himself in 2016 and strengthened his mental resolve in the process. Moncada is excited to be reunited with his Cuban countryman but is also focused on being the best player he can be in making his way toward the Majors.
"Right now, I have the opportunity to represent the White Sox organization and be one of the key players in this process," said Moncada, who hit .211 over 20 plate appearances in the Majors this past season but will start 2017 at Triple-A Charlotte. "I feel good, and I hope this pays off for the team, too."