Carlos Beltran could DH in a minor league game tomorrow

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According to Steve Popper of the Bergen Record, Carlos Beltran could be the designated hitter in a minor league game tomorrow.

Beltran took limited batting practice from both sides of the plate Monday, so the Mets will see how his knee responds tomorrow. Even if he plays, the Mets plan to use a pinch-runner for him if he gets on base, so it doesn’t sound like he’s ready to run at full speed quite yet.

Popper writes that the Mets have Beltran penciled in for three games this spring, but I’d very surprised if any of them were in the Grapefruit League. If they keep him in minor league games only, they could backdate a potential DL-stint and have him back as soon as the second series of the season against the Phillies. Of course, expecting him back that soon might be a tad on the optimistic side.

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.