Daniel Nava may switch-off of switch-hitting

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This comes up from time to time for switch-hitters with extreme platoon splits. The Nats have considered asking Danny Espinsoa to stop switch-hitting.  Aaron Hicks did it. Shane Victorino. Even Chipper Jones gave it a moment’s thought when he had some power issues from one side in the middle of his career. It can be a touchy subject. But Daniel Nava and the Red Sox are considering it, and Nava seems OK with it. From Rob Bradford of WEEI:

“I have thought about it. Is it something I’m going to do? I don’t know. It’s a tough thing to do,” he said. “[Shane] Victorino did it a couple of years ago, just dropping it. It definitely runs through my head. It’s definitely something I’m considering doing, but at the same time it’s something I’ve never done. Would I even be effective lefty on lefty, or would it be better hitting against lefties from the right side. I would have to go out and give it a test run.”

Easier for Nava of course, as a guy who is fine facing righties as a lefty (he had a .372 OBP against righties last season). When a switch hitter has trouble with righties, however, not being a switch hitter can basically gobble up most of his playing time.

As it was, Nava hit .159/.209/.190 against lefties as a righty last season. And isn’t that much better as a righty in his career (.209/.287/.298). Nothing to lose by giving lefty vs. lefty a go now, right?

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.