Not long after narrowing his list of possible destinations to three teams on Thursday, Cuban slugger Jose Abreu appeared close to finalizing a six-year, $68 million deal with a team believed to be the White Sox, according to an industry source.
The Astros, Red Sox and White Sox first emerged as the front-runners to sign the 26-year-old first baseman to a deal, with the Rangers, Giants and Marlins among the teams to express strong interest before falling out of the running.
A known commodity on the international scene, the 6-foot-3, 250-pound, right-handed batter hit .360 (9-for-25) with three home runs and nine RBIs in six games in this year's World Baseball Classic. He's a former MVP in Cuba, where he had one of the best seasons in league history in 2010-11, hitting .453 with 33 home runs and 93 RBIs in just 66 games.
Abreu defected from Cuba in August and established residency in Haiti -- the first step toward becoming a free agent -- last month. He was later unblocked by the U.S. Department of Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and declared a free agent by Major League Baseball.
Jesse Sanchez is a national reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.