Jose Abreu and the Houston Astros are finalizing a deal that would send the free agent first baseman to Houston, per reports. Bob Nightengale says it is expected to be a three year deal.
Abreu, who turns 36 next month, was the American League MVP in 2020, and has been a fixture in the middle of the lineup for the Chicago White Sox since coming to the United States from Cuba in the 2013-14 offseason. Abreu put up a .307/.378/.446 slash line for the White Sox in 2022, though as Mike Petriello noted on Twitter today, Abreu saw his performance against high velocity dip this year.
Locking up a righthanded hitting 1B/DH for his age 36-38 seasons is not something you’d expect to see the Astros do, and it would seem to be something that the White Sox were not willing to do, as the expectation had been that, if the money was close, Abreu would be back in Chicago. Both Yuli Gurriel and Michael Brantley are free agents, and each had down years (with, in Brantley’s case, a season-ending injury), so while Houston had indicated an interest in having each of them return, they have nonetheless acted aggressively to get a 1B/DH for the middle of their order.
Fangraphs and ESPN had each projected a two year deal for Abreu, though with an AAV ranging from $16M to $23M.
UPDATE — Jon Heyman says the deal is supposed to be for around $20M per year.