the first baseman Jose Abreu and the Houston Astros have agreed to a three-year contract, a source told ESPN, adding another run-producing bat to the World Series champion lineup already full of them.
Abreu, who turns 36 in January, won the AL MVP award in 2020 and is second in baseball with 863 RBIs since his first major league season, 2014. He hit .304/.378/ .446 this year with the Chicago White Sox, with whom he had played all nine of his major league seasons after leaving Cuba to play professionally.
After a terrible first five weeks, Abreu was one of the best hitters in baseball through the final three quarters of the season, hitting .335/.405/.479, though his 15 home runs all year were a career low. . He joins an Astros lineup with fellow Cuban Yordan Alvarez, jose altuve, Kyle Tucker, Alex Bregmann and the MVP of the World Series Jeremy Pena.
Abreu will replace Yuli Gurriel, a longtime rival in the Cuban National Series. Abreu and Gurriel, along with Yoenis Cespedes, were widely considered the best players of their generation in Cuba, both high-contact hitters, although Abreu’s power was the breaker.
The White Sox extended him to three years and $50 million after 2019, when he led the American League with 123 RBIs. During his nine seasons, Abreu hit .292/.354/.506 with 243 home runs and a 34% adjusted OPS, better than the league average.
It is the second signing this winter for the Astros, who renewed the reliever Rafael Montero with a three-year, $34.5 million contract. The Astros’ projected payroll is currently in the $175 million range (they’ve topped $187 million in each of the previous five seasons) and they’re still hoping to sign the ace. Justin Verlanderwho could collect more than $40 million a year.
USA Today Sports was the first to report on the deal.
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Sources: Astros sign Jose Abreu to 3-year deal