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Abreu not worried about high expectations

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CHICAGO -- Jose Abreu already has been depicted as a force with the bat, and he hasn't played in a Spring Training game yet, let alone a regular-season contest. Talk of his American League Rookie of the Year Award potential before suiting up doesn't seem to bother the free-agent addition, who joined the White Sox for six years, $68 million.

"I respect everybody's opinion, but in my mind, I'm here to do my best and to help the team win every day. That's really what I'm going to focus on doing," said the soon-to-be 27-year-old Abreu, through translator and White Sox coach Lino Diaz, at SoxFest on Friday. "I just want to be healthy, be able to play, work hard. I know if that happens, everything else will take care of itself."

"[General manager] Rick [Hahn] didn't bring him in to steal bases. I think he knows that," said White Sox hitting coach Todd Steverson of the Cuban slugger. "He has an idea of what everybody's quote-unquote expectation might be of him. I think he has a good grasp of his game, though. He's been playing long enough; he's not 21 years old."

Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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