Freddy Sanchez finally inching closer to return

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Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Freddy Sanchez will begin a minor-league rehab assignment “no later than Tuesday” of next week.
Sanchez has been playing extended spring training games in Arizona, but manager Bruce Bochy speculated that he’ll need about 30 at-bats on the rehab stint before potentially rejoining the Giants.
Acquired from the Pirates in the middle of last season, Sanchez has played just 25 games for the Giants because of shoulder and knee injuries. Despite missing time and posting a measly .619 OPS down the stretch last season the Giants inked him to a two-year, $12 million contract in late October.
In addition to the injuries Sanchez is 32 years old and hasn’t had an above-average OPS since 2007, so the contract is obviously looking like a mistake right now. Juan Uribe, Mark DeRosa, and Matt Downs have done very well filling in for Sanchez at second base, combining to hit .308 with an .859 OPS that ranks sixth among all MLB teams for the position.

Free agent slugger José Abreu signs 3-year, $58.5M 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, $58.5 million contract, adding another powerful bat to Houston’s lineup.

Abreu, the 2020 AL MVP, gets $19.5 million in each of the next three seasons.

He 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 was scheduled to be introduced in a news conference at Minute Maid Park.

He would get a $200,000 for winning an MVP award, $175,000 for finishing second in the voting, $150,000 for third, $125,000 for fourth and $100,000 for fifth. Abreu also would get $100,000 for earning World Series MVP and $75,000 for League Championship Series MVP, $75,000 for making the All-Star team and $75,000 for winning a Gold Glove or a Silver Slugger.

Abreu gets a hotel suite on road trips and the right to buy a luxury suite for all Astros home games.