Walt Jocketty signs multi-year contract to remain with the Reds

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Walt Jocketty has signed a multi-year deal to remain as the GM and President of Baseball Operations with the Reds, MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon reports. Jocketty has been with the Reds since January 2008, when he was hired as a special advisor. He eventually took over as the GM when Wayne Krivsky was fired several months later.

Manager Bryan Price is expected to remain with the club, as Jocketty gave him a vote of confidence. Via Sheldon:

“Absolutely,” Jocketty said. “I feel bad for him – the things he had to overcome this year, the injuries and bringing in a new staff and new ideas. I thought he did an excellent job. I know the players feel that way.”

When asked about the future of the coaching staff, Jocketty declined comment.

2014 was a disappointing season for the Reds, who enter Friday’s game against the Pirates at 74-85 in fourth place in the NL Central. The club got very little production out of the outfield — the club’s aggregate outfield OPS of .638 is dead last in the National League — and Joey Votto has been out since early July with a quad injury.

Under Jocketty, the Reds reached the post-season for the first time since 1995, making it three times in total. They lost the NLDS in three games to the Phillies in 2010, lost the NLDS in five games to the Giants in 2012, and lost the NL Wild Card match against the Pirates last year.

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.