Abreu says White Sox a great fit for Robert

Abreu says White Sox a great fit for Robert

SEATTLE -- White Sox slugger Jose Abreu hasn't talked to Cuban outfielder Luis Robert yet, but that could happen, assuming the the White Sox slugger can find the time to reach out.

Robert, a Cuban free agent, was reportedly finalizing a deal Saturday to sign with the White Sox, expected to be worth more than $25 million. It would add to a White Sox collection of young Cuban stars such as the former All-Star Abreu and top prospect Yoan Moncada -- not to mention add to a history that included Cuban legend Minnie Minoso. The deal hasn't been confirmed by the club.

But so far, Abreu merely participated in a video that was sent to Robert.

"I just told him the White Sox organization was a great organization," Abreu said of the video, through an interpreter. "This is an organization that takes care of the Cuban players, that have a high respect for us. And that for us, it will be very special to have him playing with us."

Beyond that, Abreu said he might reach out.

"If life gives us an opportunity," he said, "yes, I will do it."

Rogers: Robert enhances White Sox rebuild

A native of Cienguegos, Cuba, Abreu defected in August, 2013, and signed with the White Sox in October of that season. He then earned a trip the All-Star Game in 2014 and won the AL Rookie of the Year Award.

So Abreu knows what Robert is about to go through in his adjustment to the United States. The White Sox star admitted that Robert could be in for a surprise when he sees the talent level he's about to walk into.

"When you come here, you don't know exactly how hard these guys play," Abreu said. "You have an idea, and you know this is the best baseball in the world, but you don't know how high is the level. You have the illusion, you have the dream, all your desire to do your best, because that's your dream.

"For me, the key was to work hard every day, work hard and do my best every day. That would be my advice for him, too."

Worth noting

• White Sox manager Rick Renteria said injured starting pitcher James Shields is pushing to return to the club after going on the 10-day disabled list for a right lat strain, but the team won't rush him.

Shields made three starts before going on the DL and has a 1-0 record with a 1.62 ERA.

"He's doing very, very well," Renteria said. "That fact that he's wanting to push to get out there, we just have to be patient and make sure everything is good and wanting to progress to allow him to get out on the hill and stay there for a while."

Rob Shore is a contributor to MLB.com based in Seattle. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.