Zack Greinke playing catch again after rib fracture

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Some good news on the Zack Greinke front.

Brewers manager Ron Roenicke told Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel this morning that Greinke played catch yesterday for the first time since being shut down with a fractured rib earlier this month. Specifically, Roenicke said that Greinke “felt great” and “the pain is gone.”

It’s nice to hear he’s making progress, but Greinke will essentially have to start from scratch with his throwing program. As such, Roenicke said last weekend that it’s unlikely he’ll be ready to return by April 16, a date which was previously considered the best-case scenario. Now they’d probably be thrilled to have him back by the end of April.

With Greinke sidelined, the Brewers are expected to decide between Marco Estrada or the newly-acquired Sergio Mitre to fill the void in their starting rotation. The club won’t need a fifth starter for the first time until April 6 against the Braves.

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.