There’s allegedly a “secret plan” to keep the Rays in St. Petersburg

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I like this story a lot. Not because it has any new information, really, but because it involves a mayor of a large U.S. city basically saying “I have a secret and I can’t tell you so nyah, nyah nyah.”

Short version: the Rays want out of St. Pete because its not economically viable to play in the Trop. While the city has a pretty iron-clad lease requiring that the Rays stay, there are allegedly conversations being had about a plan that would either keep the Rays in St. Pete in a manner more to the team’s liking or that would allow them to look elsewhere without penalty or … something.

And that’s where the silliness comes in, with the mayor making oblique allusions to secret plans — he actually uses the term “secret plan” — that no one besides him apparently knows about.

Politics has become so polished and detached from the human experience. I love it when once in a while the polish comes off and you see public officials acting like little kids or something.

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.