Jason Kendall’s return from shoulder surgery pushed back

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Jason Kendall’s initial recovery timetable following September shoulder surgery had him missing the first two months of the season, but then in February the Royals revealed that he was several months ahead of schedule and might not miss any time at all.

Several setbacks followed, causing Kendall to begin the season on the disabled list, and now general manager Dayton Moore told Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star that his current return timetable is “sometime in the first half.”

Dutton writes that Kendall’s “recovery from shoulder surgery is no longer on the fast track” and “his anticipated return has been downgraded.” Kendall described his status as “probably about 85 percent” healthy, which isn’t particularly encouraging when 100 percent of Kendall is one of the worst regulars in baseball.

Through six games Matt Treanor and Brayan Pena have alternated starts behind the plate in Kendall’s absence and they already have more homers (1) than Kendall hit (0) in 490 plate appearances last year.

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.