The Blue Jays are showing “strong interest” in Justin Upton

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There’s not much more to this than that statement itself, which Ken Rosenthal passed along a few minutes ago.  It’s kind of hard to analyze such a rumor in the manner we normally do, however, because (a) all teams should have a strong interest in Upton, so Toronto’s would not be surprising; and (b) Justin Upton is so good that the usual “where would he fit” analysis is rather silly. He fits anywhere, and if he doesn’t, you make room.

The Jays have a lot of pitching, but they’ve learned more than anyone else in recent years that you can never have too much pitching given that, you know, pitchers get hurt.

Beyond that, Upton in Toronto would be more intriguing than Upton in a lot of places, because he truly could help turn the AL East into a four-team cluster if he joined the Jays.

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.