Mark Buehrle could start on short rest to reach 200-inning milestone

The Canadian Press via AP
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Blue Jays starter Mark Buehrle went six innings in Sunday’s start against the Rays, a game ultimately won on Josh Donaldson‘s walk-off home run. The veteran lefty now has 191 1/3 innings under his belt, leaving him 8 2/3 innings shy of 200 innings.

While 200 innings is a nice round number that many starters take pride in reaching, it’s not one they and their managers make a concerted effort to reach. However, Buehrle has gone 200-plus innings in every season dating back to 2001. It’s the longest active streak by a mile, as his 14 seasons lead the eight held by nine pitchers in the same span of time.

Per Brendan Kennedy of the Toronto Star, Jays manager John Gibbons said that if certain conditions are met, Buehrle could start on short rest towards the end of the season. Only if the Blue Jays have already clinched the AL East and Buehrle is still under 200 innings after Friday’s road start against the Rays will he make another short start.

Buerhle, 36, holds a 3.76 ERA with a 1.22 WHIP, and an 88/31 K/BB ratio this season, his 15th full season in the majors.

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.