The MLB hot stove is fully underway with the offseason upon us, and some big moves are finally being made. This resulted in one of the bigger free agent targets this offseason in Jose Abreu already coming off the board and signing a three-year, $58.5 million deal to fill in at first base for the Houston Astros.

Considering how Houston just won the 2022 World Series, they don’t really have many holes on their roster that need to be filled. But it’s clear that first base, which was filled primarily by Yuli Gurriel and Trey Mancini last season, needs some help. Both guys struggled to produce for the ‘Stros last season, making it their biggest area of need.

Unsurprisingly, the Astros went out and landed the best first baseman available in Abreu, dealing a huge blow to a couple of different teams across the league. Let’s take a look at three teams that are the biggest losers for failing to sign Abreu and see why missing out on him is such a big blow for these clubs.

3. Chicago Cubs

The Chicago Cubs should be undergoing a full on rebuild rather than pursuing top free agents, but for whatever reason, they were in on Abreu this offseason. The Cubs reportedly made Abreu a two-year, $40 million offer, although he unsurprisingly decided to sign with a much more competitive Astros team instead.

Chicago has needs all over their roster right now, so adding Abreu would obviously help them be more competitive in the short term. The Cubs are likely losing their best hitter from last season in Willson Contreras in free agency after they oddly decided to not move him at the trade deadline, and someone is going to have to replace that production.

Bringing in a veteran hitter like Abreu who could help lead the rebuild makes sense, but the Cubs aren’t really at that stage yet. They still have a ton of work to do when it comes to building up their roster, and it’s not as if adding Abreu would have immediately made them a World Series contender. Still, the Cubs struck out in their pursuit of Abreu, which earns them a spot here.

2. Cleveland Guardians

The Cleveland Guardians have never really been big spenders in free agency, so it was surprising to see that they were in on Abreu in free agency. They certainly have a need another big bat in their lineup, but Abreu ended up being too expensive for Cleveland’s liking, forcing them to move onto other targets.

Reports surfaced saying that the Guardians also offered Abreu a three-year deal, but couldn’t match the price the Astros were giving him. Cleveland has Josh Naylor at first base for now, which isn’t the worst option, but they could have sorely used some help at designated hitter after they were forced to move on from Franmil Reyes in the middle of his ugly 2022 campaign.

Abreu is about as steady of a hitter as there is, so missing out on him hurts. There are other first base options Cleveland could turn to now, such as Josh Bell or the Astros two first basemen in Gurriel or Mancini. But they may have missed their best shot to add to their lineup in Jose Abreu, and their inability to match the Astros’ deal could come back to hurt them.

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1. Boston Red Sox

The Boston Red Sox have a lot of work to do this offseason, so it probably isn’t a great sign that they whiffed on Abreu here. Boston was mentioned as a suitor for Abreu, but it wasn’t really revealed until after he signed with Houston that Abreu was their top external free agent target, which makes the Sox the big loser here.

Boston clearly needs help at first base, as Bobby Dalbec has proven unreliable early in his career, and Eric Hosmer is nothing more than a league-average option at this point. Using one of them doesn’t really hurt, but it’s clear there’s a need for an upgrade at some point here, and Abreu could have very well been that upgrade.

Maybe the Sox can turn things over to their top prospect Triston Casas, who looked good in his limited action last season, but having a sure bet for production Abreu certainly would have been nice. Boston has a lot of other things on their plate this offseason, but landing Jose Abreu would have been a great start. And for a front office that needs to have a big offseason to quiet Boston’s unhappy fans, missing out on their top target isn’t going to do them any favors.