Jose Abreu reacts to Rick Hahn's Michael Jordan comparison comment

·2 min read

Jose Abreu reacts to Rick Hahn's MJ comparison comment originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Ahead of the White Sox opener against the Houston Astros on Thursday, Rick Hahn reflected on how it will be seeing former first baseman Jose Abreu don the Astros threads for the first time.

“It’ll be like seeing (Michael) Jordan in a Wizards uniform… It’ll be weird," White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said on Wednesday to ESPN's Buster Olney.

MORE: Rick Hahn compares Jose Abreu to MJ in Wizards jersey

Abreu found the comparison a little generous, reacting with a laugh and an audible "Oof" before answering humbly.

"I'm going to be honest with you, I think that is a big comparison. Jordan is Jordan," Abreu said. "I'm entering a new stage in my life and a new stage in my career, just take it day by day."

Abreu might not be the greatest baseball player of all time or the greatest White Sox player ever. But the sentiment of his departure to the Astros is deep cutting. He meant an infinite amount to the White Sox and will forever be commended for his time in Chicago.

He spent nine years with the White Sox. Abreu joined the team in 2014. He quickly made an impact, earning Rookie of the Year honors that season.

Over his career with the Sox, Abreu earned three All-Stars, three Silver Sluggers and the AL MVP award in 2020. His leadership and voice in the clubhouse arguably meant more to the White Sox than his performance on the field.

Abreu was a respected leader and perennial mainstay on the field. Abreu consistently found a way to stay on the field with his health. The fewest number of games he's played in a season was 128 in 2018. He still earned an All-Star nod that season.

He averaged 151 games per season over eight seasons (not including the shortened season in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic).

The White Sox could not come to terms with their long-time first baseman during the offseason. Abreu opted for the Astros, who he signed a three-year $50 million deal with in the winter. He replaced the likes of Yuli Gurriel at first base for the defending World Series champions.

The South Side chose Andrew Vaughn to succeed Abreu. But they recognized how much Abreu's absence affects the team.

"It's always a difficult day from an emotional standpoint or from a fan standpoint, when you see a franchise icon don another uniform. It's a day that nobody really ever envisions seeing but the realities of the business side sometimes dictate that such things happen," Hahn said in November.

Click here to follow the White Sox Talk Podcast.