Blue Jays GM: “This whole thing is stupid”

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So, Alex Anthopoulous is going the J.P. Arencibia route.

Mike Cormack of Sportsnet.ca has all of the quotes as the Blue Jays GM addressed the media Wednesday to respond to an ESPN story accusing the team of using someone in the center-field stands to steal signs.

Anthopoulous opened by saying, “This whole thing is stupid.  It’s unbelievable that we’re even sitting here.”

The general manager went on to accuse ESPN of failing to do its homework, and he said the story has a lot of holes in it.  He asked ESPN to find someone formerly connected with the Blue Jays to try to back the story up, and that ESPN either didn’t try to do so or failed to come up with a former player or employee willing to contribute to the story.

Meanwhile, the National Post’s John Lott got Jose Bautista to speak briefly.  Bautista said the encounter detailed within ESPN’s article happened during a White Sox game.  So add the White Sox to the list of teams, which includes the Red Sox and Yankees, that believe the Jays are cheating.

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.