David Ortiz joins the 500 home run club

AP Photo
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Red Sox DH David Ortiz joined the 500 home run club on Saturday night with a two-homer performance against the Rays, belting No. 499 in the first inning against Matt Moore and No. 500 in the fifth inning. The first one was a three-run blast, staking the Red Sox to an early 3-0 lead. They’d tack on two more in each of the third and fourth innings, and Ortiz added the solo shot to lead off the fifth inning to make it an 8-0 game.

Ortiz now has 34 home runs on the season along with 94 RBI and a .271/.358/.542 triple-slash line. One more home runs would match last year’s total (35), and two (36) would mark his highest total since 2006, when he hit 54.

Ortiz is the 27th member of the 500 home run club. Eddie Murray is 26th with 504 in his career.

Here’s video of No. 499. We’ll provide video of No. 500 once it becomes available.

[mlbvideo id=”474026183″ width=”600″ height=”336″ /]

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.