Rangers: we weren't blackmailed

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Randy Galloway of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram said the Rangers were blackmailed over the Ron Washington stuff.  The Rangers say it’s not so.

As related by Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning news, today Jon Daniels denied that a former Rangers employee ever tried to use knowledge of Ron
Washington’s drug test as leverage to improve a severance package or
get a recommendation for future employment, denied that the club ever felt extorted or blackmailed, and said that the police were never contacted.  Now, those questions were put to Daniels via email using basically that language, so it’s possible that the behavior described there doesn’t cover what Galloway was working off, but for that to be the case, Daniels would have to be engaging in some pretty lawyerly language-parsing.

So it looks like it’s Galloway’s move. He’s either got to explain his blackmail story further or else he owes an apology — at least — to Jon Heyman’s source for claiming that he was engaged in criminal activity.

Free agent slugger José Abreu signs 3-year deal with Astros

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
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HOUSTON — Jose Abreu and the World Series champion Astros agreed to a three-year contract, adding another powerful bat to Houston’s lineup.

Abreu, the 2020 AL MVP, spent his first nine major league seasons with the Chicago White Sox. The first baseman became a free agent after batting .304 with 15 home runs, 75 RBIs and an .824 OPS this year.

With the Astros, he replaces Yuli Gurriel at first base in a batting order that also features All-Star sluggers Yordan Alvarez, Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman and Kyle Tucker.

Gurriel became a free agent after Houston defeated the Philadelphia Phillies this month for its second World Series championship.

The 35-year-old Abreu becomes the biggest free agent to switch teams so far this offseason. Born in Cuba, the three-time All-Star and 2014 AL Rookie of the Year is a .292 career hitter in the majors with 243 homers, 863 RBIs and an .860 OPS.

The Astros announced the signing. Abreu is scheduled to be introduced in a news conference at Minute Maid Park.