Astros Reload with All-Star Jose Abreu
The reigning World Champions may not have a General Manager, but what they do have is a shiny new toy to trot out at first base.
According to Bob Nightengale, the Houston Astros are finalizing a deal for free-agent first baseman Jose Abreu.
With Yuli Gurriel entering free agency and coming off of a down season, the Astros had a void to address at first. Abreu will fit right in.
We previously had ranked Abreu as the second-best candidate to play 1B for the Astros this season. He keeps the Astros' Cuban connection alive, especially if Gurriel is re-signed as a utility piece. Abreu hit .304 with an .824 OPS in 2022 and was good for 4.2 bWAR. His high-contact, low-strikeout bat is a perfect fit for the Astros' approach.
His 15 home runs were a career low (22 if he played his home games in front of the Crawford Boxes), but he did hit 40 doubles for the second time in his career. He also is above average defensively, finishing in the 63rd percentile in outs above average, and like Gurriel, excels at "scooping" the baseball, a must with the arms Houston employs across the infield.
Abreu will turn 36 to start the season, so in keeping with tradition (Verlander, Brantley, McCann), the Astros will likely be giving him a short-term, high AAV contract in the ballpark of $18-25 million a year.
Chandler Rome reported the deal is likely for three years and around $60 million.
As some would say, "the rich get richer." The race for an Astros' repeat is officially on.