Adam Wainwright won his 20th game last night


Adam Wainwright shut out the Cubs for seven innings last night and notched his 20th win of the year. He joins Clayton Kershaw in that club. If it wasn’t for Kershaw, Wainwright would probably be picking up a Cy Young award too. Going 20-9 with a 2.38 ERA for a division winning team will do that for you most years.

It seems like Wainwright has had a lot of those years. As Bob Nightengale noted this morning, he is one of the greatest pitchers to never win a Cy Young award. In an era where 20-game winners are a lot more rare than they used to be, Wainwright has won 19 or 20 games in four of his last five seasons. That’s made all the more special given that those seasons wrap around a year lost to Tommy John surgery. No, wins aren’t everything. But when you get enough of them, consistently over time, it does tell you something.

Maybe even more than people who tend to like wins as a stat will even give Wainwright credit for:

I’m sure Ringolsby meant that as praise, but really, that’s a slight to Wainwright when you look at all of the other stats those two have. He’s more like the Dave Stieb of his era. Or Mike Mussina. Like those guys, he may end up as a guy who is widely considered a top ace during his career, only to become somewhat under-appreciated after he retires due to the lack of hardware.

Actually, Wainwright is better than Stieb and probably Mussina too. And his World Series rings and heroics will make up for the lack of hardware. But I do feel like people are going to forget how good Wainwright is when they assess his career after the fact.

Free agent slugger José Abreu signs 3-year, $58.5M deal with Astros

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

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.