Cardinals send Mitchell Boggs to Triple-A to work as a starter

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I wondered yesterday why the Cardinals would demote Mitchell Boggs to Triple-A after he had one bad week following 95 innings of solid relief work, but now we know: He’s going to work as a starter.

Tony La Russa told Tom Krasovic of MLB.com that the idea is for Boggs to develop his secondary pitches while starting every fifth day at Triple-A, adding: “I expect him back this year and to play a major role.”

However, it sounds like that “major role” may still involve returning as a reliever, albeit a reliever with an improved changeup and off-speed stuff. Pitching coach Dave Duncan indicated that Boggs’ return date is undecided, as is his return role.

Still an odd move, but now at least it’s an odd move with some reasoning behind it beyond “he’s pitched poorly for the past week.” Boggs had a 3.66 ERA, .233 opponents’ batting average, and 19/4 K/BB ratio in 20 innings before the demotion.

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.