Terry Collins thinks Johan Santana could be back before the end of July

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Johan Santana hasn’t even thrown to live hitters yet, so we should probably be a little careful about timetables, but Mets manager Terry Collins predicts that the southpaw could be back by the end of next month.

In fact, according to Adam Rubin of ESPN.com, Collins won’t even rule out Santana’s return immediately following the All-Star break.

“Is it realistic? Yeah. That would be realistic. Should we plan on it? I don’t know if we should. In a perfect world, if everything continues at the pace it is right now, it’s a realistic goal. But I’m probably looking more toward the end of July than the All-Star break.”

It’s a nice thought either way, but when is the last time that a Mets’ player returned on schedule from an injury? Pardon my cynicism, as it’s sometimes an unfortunate side effect of being a Mets fan these days, but let’s wait until he, you know, actually pitches in a minor league game or two.

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.