Kyle Lohse purchases ping-pong table for AA clubhouse

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It’s common for rehabbing major leaguers to spoil the fellas in the minor league clubhouses that they visit.  Whether it’s a meal, a new recliner or a flat-screen television, the big leaguers throw down some cash and the underpaid farm hands live in luxury for a moment. 

Kyle Lohse underwent surgery on his right forearm in late May and is making a final minor league rehab start on Thursday night at the Cardinals’ Double-A affiliate in Springfield, Missouri. 

B.J. Rains of FOX Sports Midwest is on hand for the rehab outing and passes along word that Lohse bought the Double-A clubhouse a ping-pong table at the request of Springfield’s regulars.

The 31-year-old right-hander signed a four-year, $41 million contract with the Cardinals after a solid 2008 season, so it’s no skin off his back.  He will rejoin the big-league rotation next week if all goes well on Thursday evening.  Lohse had a 5.89 ERA and 1.71 WHIP in nine starts before landing on the disabled list.

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.