Previewing the Best Candidates to Play 1B For the Houston Astros in 2023

World Series - Houston Astros v Philadelphia Phillies - Game Five
World Series - Houston Astros v Philadelphia Phillies - Game Five / Elsa/GettyImages
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Jose Abreu
Minnesota Twins v Chicago White Sox / Michael Reaves/GettyImages

2) José Abreu

José Abreu makes a great deal of sense for the Astros at first base. He was good for 4.2 bWAR in 2022, he just hit .304 with an .824 OPS, his Baseball Savant page is filled with red at the plate meaning his expected stats project continued success rather than luck), the Crawford Boxes would parlay into 22 home runs rather than the 15 he hit, he'd play a solid first base (63rd percentile in outs above average and a great "scooper" of the baseball like Gurriel) and he keeps the Astros Cuban Connection alive.

Abreu's 15 home runs last season were a career low, but his 40 doubles were the second-highest total of his career. He's a walking .300 hitter that can be counted on for an .830 OPS.

Abreu on-paper checks every box the Astros need: a big bat in the heart of the order, only a slight defensive drop-off from Gurriel and a continuation of the international pipeline. How is he not their best option?

Father Time remains undefeated. Abreu turns 36 to start next season. Is the drop in power this season a sign of things to come? If Abreu's bat does go, the high AAV contract he will likely command (somewhere in the neighborhood of $18-23 million) quickly becomes an abyss for the organization.

Can the Astros manage to upgrade at 1B while simultaneously saving money that can go into an upgrade at DH (assuming Yordan plays more left) and extending key pieces? One option not being discussed enough would allow for just that.