Dave Stewart calls the Dbacks more of “a true baseball team” because they don’t emphasize analytics

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This is all kinds of fun. Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic spoke with Diamondbacks general manager Dave Stewart about James Shields. Stewart talked about the budget and about how Shields is a guy the Dbacks may be interested in if the right deal could be reached. Typical stuff.

Not as typical: Stewart’s speculation as to why, maybe, Shields may be willing to take less money to go to Arizona than he might elsewhere:

“I think James is a throwback guy by the way he goes about his business and the innings he pitches,” Stewart said. “I think the fact that Tony (La Russa) is here and that we have more baseball people – he probably sees us as a true baseball team vs. some of the other teams out here that are geared more toward analytics and those type of things.

“Sometimes, there are concessions the player will make to be here. It’s the case that he likes what we’re doing with our organization from our end, all we can hope is that there will be concessions enough that he can be here.”

I realize that a lot of people like to denigrate some organizations for their perceived over-reliance on analytics and things. And I know that some players have had issues dealing with front offices who do things differently than other teams do. For example, there has been some grumbling from certain players about how, say, the Astros go about their business.

But this is the first time I’ve heard someone suggest that those differences make some baseball teams “true baseball teams” and others, well, I dunno, phony ones.

In other news, I suspected that there was a cultural change going on with the Diamondbacks, what with the firing of Kirk Gibson and Kevin Towers and all of the attendant de-grit-ifying going on down there. But I guess maybe not?

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.