The Astros sign Jose Abreu to a three-year contract

The Astros close to a deal for a free agent first baseman Jose Abreuto me Bob Nightingale from USA Todaywith Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic Stressing that Ebro and the club agree on a deal. Nightingale Says It is expected to be a three-year deal, though financials have yet to be announced. John Heyman from the New York Post He says it’ll be about $20 million a year, which puts the guarantee closer to $60 million.

Abreu, who turns 36 in January, has spent his entire major league career with the White Sox so far, but it looks likely toward the end of the season that they’ll be willing to let him switch jerseys in 2023. With several other base hitters. The candidates on the list, eg Andrew Vaughn And the Eloy Jimenezthe thinking was that they would let Ubru march and devote their resources elsewhere, which now seems to have been accomplished.

Although the Sox were apparently willing to let him walk away, he still hit excellent results at the plate. In 2022, it appears to have given up a little bit of power for a more connection-oriented approach, but it’s still making a big impact. His 15 home runs were the fewest of his career, but his strikeout rate was 16.2%. 304/.378/.446 hitting streak that was 37% better than the league average, as evidenced by his 137 wRC+.

It was his ninth season in MLB, in which Abreu posted a WRC+ score of 114 or higher in all of them. He hit 164 in 2020, winning the American League Most Valuable Player Award that shortened season. Despite the decline in power this year, he has been one of the best hitters in the league over the past decade or so. Since his debut in 2014, he’s had 139 wRC+ for his career, with only 11 batters posting a higher number like that in that time frame. Given his generally strong work at the plate but his relatively older age, MLBTR expected him to secure a $40 million contract over two years, or $20 million per season.

The Astros had a stellar 2022, winning 106 regular season games and then breaking into the playoffs to claim their second World Series title. First base was actually one of the few weaknesses on the list, such as Yuli Gurel He struggled through a year down at the plate. After hitting .319/.383/.462 in 2021, he’s down to .242/.288/.360 this year. club gained Trey Mancini Deadline to try and cement the position, but it didn’t really work out as he hit .176/.258/.364 just after the trade. Both players reached free agency at the end of the season, leaving a vacant spot for Abreu to step in. This signing would likely end Gurriel’s tenure in Houston after seven seasons, unless he was willing to return in a lesser role as pinch hitter and occasional designated hitter.

The Astros recently parted ways with general manager James Cleck amid reported disagreements between him and owner Jim Crane. Crane appears to be in no rush to replace Click, as he handles baseball decisions and seems content to continue to do so well into the new year. Despite the front office’s unusual situation, they kept going, re-signing Rafael Montero Now, Abreu adds, both are in three-year deals.

Turning to the financials, the Astros currently have a 2023 payroll of about $163 million, and a competitive tax credit figure of about $178 million, per the roster vendor. Their opening day payroll figure was $175 million last year and $188 million in 2021, according to Cot. Assuming Abreu’s contract falls in the projected range of around $20 million per season, that would push their salary upwards of over $180 million and a CBT number close to $200 million. Even though they’re nearing their previous highs in spending, it makes sense that they could push it up a notch this winter in the wake of the championship race and all the extra revenue that comes with that. For CBT, the 2023 bottom line will be $233 million, which leaves them with plenty of room left even if they plan to avoid going over it.

For the White Sox, this marked the end of an era that had lasted nearly a decade. Vaughn is a natural-born first baseman whose attempts to transition into the field were poor. He produced -16 Outs Above average on the turf in 2022, the lowest mark of any player in the league this year. His -10.5 Ultimate District rating was also the lowest for an MLB outfielder of the season while his -14 defensive saves were among the bottom five. However, he hit .273/.323/.433, putting up a WRC+ output of 115 while only 24 years old. The Sox certainly hope he can achieve better results as he continues to acclimatize to MLB pitches, especially without having to worry about his outfield defense in the future. However, the club will be looking to improve on their 81-81 season with letting their best hitter leave, which will not be an easy task.

For the Astros, their lineup was already very strong, featuring the likes Jose AltuveAnd the Alex BergmanAnd the Jordan Alvarez And the Kyle Tucker. They have now added one of the best hitters in the league as they look to defend their World Series title next year.

Image courtesy of USA Today Sports.

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