Pete Mackanin benched Odubel Herrera for “pouting”

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Odubel Herrera wasn’t happy that he flied out to end the fourth inning of Sunday’s series finale at Turner Field against the Braves. The outfielder aggressively tossed his bat behind him towards the Phillies’ on-deck circle. It was that action, not his second out of the afternoon, which caused interim manager Pete Mackanin to bench Herrera. The next inning, Aaron Altherr moved from left field to center, and Brian Bogusevic entered the game in left field.

Herrera has been the Phillies’ most valuable position player this year, a shocking development as he was the club’s Rule-5 pick from the Rangers and hadn’t played above Double-A prior to the season. The 23-year-old is batting .293/.335/.417 with eight home runs, 40 RBI, 59 runs scored, and 14 stolen bases while playing above-average defense in center field.

Regardless, Mackanin isn’t tolerating what he termed “pouting”. Via Ryan Lawrence of the Philadelphia Daily News:

“We will not pout, we will not feel sorry for ourselves. If you want to, then you don’t belong here. He had to learn a lesson. To me, he’s been pouting for a few days, so I just wanted to make sure he gets the message.”

Mackanin took over managing duties for the Phillies when Ryne Sandberg quit after 74 games. The rebuilding Phillies are undergoing both roster and front office overhaul, and it’s not clear yet if Mackanin will return to lead the team in 2016. He’s certainly managing as if he will be at the helm next 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.