Astros landslugger Jose Abreu on 3-year contract

First baseman Jose Abreu and the Houston Astros agree on a three-year contract, a source told ESPN, adding another run-producing bat to the already-packed World Series champion lineup .

Abreu, 35, won the American League MVP award in 2020 and is second in baseball with 863 RBIs since his first season in the major leagues, 2014. He hit .304/.378/.446 this year with the Chicago White Sox, for whom he had played all nine of his big league-seasons after defecting from Cuba.

After a terrible first five weeks, Abreu was one of the best hitters in baseball for the last three quarters of the season, batting .335/.405/.479, though his 15 home runs throughout the year were a career low. He joins an Astros lineup that includes fellow Cuban Yordan Álvarez, Jose Altuve, Kyle Tucker, Alex Bregman and World Series MVP Jeremy Peña.

Abreu replaces Yuli Gurriel, an old rival in the Cuban National Series. Abreu and Gurriel, along with Yoenis Cespedes, were widely regarded as the best players of their generation from Cuba, both high-contact hitters – though Abreu’s strength was the dividing line.

The White Sox renewed him for three years and $50 million after 2019 when he led the AL with 123 RBIs. Over his nine seasons, Abreu hit .292/.354/.506 with 243 home runs and an adjusted OPS that was 34% better than the league average.

He is the second signing this winter for the Astros, who signed reliever Rafael Montero to a three-year, $34.5 million contract. The Astros’ projected payroll is currently around $175 million — they have surpassed $187 million each of the previous five seasons — and they still hope to sign ace Justin Verlander, who could earn more than $40 million a year.

USA Today first reported Abreu’s agreement with the Astros.

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