Giants not yet ready to recall Brandon Belt

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Thanks to Darren Ford’s ankle sprain, it sounds like the Giants will soon have a roster spot open up.  However, manager Bruce Bochy said Wednesday that a move involving Brandon Belt isn’t likely.

“To be honest, Belt is more of a longshot,” Bochy told the San Francisco Chronicle.  “What we’re looking for is more of a bench type player and more depth, a pinch-hitter.”

Belt, who struggled as the Giants’ first baseman while Cody Ross was on the DL last month, is batting .351/.484/.546 with four homers and 21 RBI in 30 games for Triple-A Fresno.  He’s dominated righties to the tune of a .394/.531/.606 line.

With the Giants struggling to score runs, bringing up Belt and using him as a platoon left fielder would make sense.  However, the Giants don’t want to go that route yet.  They’re certainly a far better defensive team with Nate Schierholtz in right and Ross in left, an alignment they’ve been using more frequently lately.

Besides, even though they’re dead last in the NL in runs scored, the Giants are sitting in first place in the NL West with a 27-20 record.  And their road to returning to the playoffs appeared to get a little smoother with Tuesday’s news that the Rockies’ Jorge De La Rosa would need Tommy John surgery.

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.