Jose Fernandez could begin throwing program on October 1

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Marlins ace Jose Fernandez is still a long way from pitching in the majors again, but he’s very close to picking up a baseball for the first time since his Tommy John surgery on May 16.

Marlins manager Mike Redmond told Joe Frisaro of MLB.com that Fernandez had a checkup with surgeon Dr. Neal ElAttrache today in Los Angeles in hopes of being cleared to begin a throwing program on October 1. Typical recovery from Tommy John surgery takes 12-18 months — Fernandez is just four months removed from surgery right now — so odds are he won’t make it back to the Marlins until around midseason next year.

Fernandez, 22, had a 2.44 over eight starts this season prior to the injury and owns a 2.25 ERA and 257/71 K/BB ratio over his first 224 1/3 innings in the majors.

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.