Astros shockingly release Jose Abreu and finally admit costly free agent mistake

In a sad turn of events, Jose Abreu's time with the Astros has mercifully come to an end.
Minnesota Twins v Houston Astros
Minnesota Twins v Houston Astros / Brace Hemmelgarn/GettyImages

The Houston Astros have jumped through every hoop imaginable trying to make things work with Jose Abreu. After signing Abreu to a three-year deal, the team stood by him when he battled back from issues in 2023 and took the extreme step of optioning him to the minors (with his consent) this season to try and get him back on track.

Unfortunately, their efforts were not fruitful. In his 176 games with the Astros, Abreu has posted a woeful .218/.275/.351 line and has looked like a guy whose time as a big league hitter was coming to an end. As much as Houston was trying to force Abreu back to respectability, it just wasn't happening.

Still, it was shocking to receive the news Friday that the Astros made the decision to release Abreu from his contract, officially ending his tenure with the team.

Astros News: Houston releases Jose Abreu in bittersweet ending to his time with Astros

While many Astros fans are going to celebrate the fact that Abreu won't be in the lineup every single day looking futile at the plate, this situation is also really sad. By all accounts, Abreu has been as frustrated as anyone with his lack of production and has worked tirelessly to stay on the field and get back to being the hitter he once was. Unfortunately, Father Time and his ailing body just didn't let that happen.

So, where do the Astros go from here? They are on the hook for the rest of Abreu's contract, which stinks, but the move does allow for the opportunity to get someone who can actually hit in Houston's lineup. The obvious choice is top prospect Joey Loperfido, who impressed when the Astros called him up earlier this year. Ultimately, that decision will come down to how comfortable they are with Loperfido playing first base, but really anything is better than what Abreu is giving them.

However, with Loperfido being recently optioned and not wanting to put someone on the IL to work around the restrictions on recently optioned players, it appears as though the Astros are turning to Cooper Hummel as a stopgap roster move.

Today is a sad day both for the Astros and Abreu. The team is having to waste a lot of money on a guy that just couldn't play baseball anymore, and Abreu's career may be over now. That said, it could be the start of something new and fun, and we'll know more as the next couple weeks unfold.

More Astros News from Climbing Tal's Hill