Jose Fernandez becomes a U.S. citizen

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It hasn’t been the best year for Jose Fernandez, what with the Tommy John surgery and all. But it’s not like he’s been sitting and watching TV the whole time. He’s been doing stuff:

Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez is officially a U.S. citizen. USCIS held a special ceremony at their field office in Kendall Friday morning where Fernandez, along with 140 other South Florida residents, became a naturalized U.S. citizen.

The Marlins presented Fernandez with an American flag that previously flew over Marlins Park. Pretty cool.

Just looked back to see what other players we’ve posted about becoming citizens since the blog launched. I see Robinson Cano and Orlando Cabrera. David Ortiz did in 2008 back when I was writing a personal blog.

No reason. Just think it’s neat. Thanks to Old Gator for the heads up.

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.