Astros officially land free agent first baseman Jose Abreu, who's a former AL MVP

If reports hold true, the 2020 AL MVP's signing might push out incumbent first baseman Yuli Gurriel, who's also a free agent.

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Tuesday, November 29, 2022
Astros' reported signing puts former AL MVPs at 1st and 2nd base
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Jose Abreu, the free agent first baseman who was also a former AL MVP, is expected to land with the Houston Astros on a three-year deal.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The Houston Astros have landed one of the biggest free agent names on the market.

The World Series champions officially announced Monday night that they are signing Jose Abreu.

ESPN's Jeff Passan reported on that the team and the free agent first baseman Jose Abreu agreed on a three-year contract. Other terms of the deal were not immediately available.

USA Today first reported Abreu's agreement with the Astros.

The 35-year-old, who spent all nine of his MLB seasons with the Chicago White Sox, represents a big-name bat that could help the Astros, who were 12th in batting average and 13th in hits in all of baseball last season.

Abreu was in the MLB's top eight in batting average at .304 and fourth overall in hits with 183.

The three-time All-Star was the American League MVP after the pandemic-shortened 2020 season.

Abreu appears to be replacing an Astros' fan favorite, Yuli Gurriel, who, like his potential successor, is a free agent and a Cuban defector.

The addition not only puts former AL MVPs at first and second base. Besides Abreu and Jose Altuve, the other infielders - shortstop Jeremy Pena and third baseman Alex Bregman - have won the World Series and All-Star Game MVP awards, respectively.

What would Abreu's signing mean for owner Jim Crane's offseason ambitions?

As far as what the financials may look like, the White Sox extended Abreu for three years and $50 million, or an annual average value of about $16 million, after 2019.

The Astros reupped reliever Rafael Montero on a three-year, $34.5 million contract. The Astros' projected payroll is currently in the $175 million range - they've exceeded $187 million each of the previous five seasons - and they still hope to sign ace Justin Verlander, who could command upward of $40 million a year.

Jose is the second Abreu on the Astros' roster, which has reliever Bryan Abreu already in the bullpen. There are no published reports indicating the two are related.

ESPN contributed to this story.