Futility Watch: Twins, Braves stay winless with Thursday’s losses

AP Photo/Jim Mone
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The Twins and Braves will both enter yet another day without a win on the 2016 season, as both clubs lost again on Thursday to move to 0-9. The Twins have already set the mark for the worst start in franchise history, while the Braves can match their franchise-worst start with a loss to the Marlins on Friday. It’s the first time two teams have started 0-9 or worse since 1988 (Braves, Orioles) and the third time since 1884, per ESPN’s Baseball Tonight.

The White Sox bested the Twins behind six strong innings from Mat Latos, who yielded only one run on three hits and a walk with four strikeouts. Jose Abreu opened the scoring in the first inning with an RBI single off of Ervin Santana, and Avisail Garcia added a solo home run in the third as the White Sox went on to win 3-1. The Twins are averaging 1.56 runs per game so far.

Meanwhile, Bryce Harper downed the Braves with a grand slam — his first career grand slam and his 100th career homer — off of Julio Teheran in what ended up a 6-2 victory for the Nationals. Stephen Strasburg held the Braves to the two runs on four hits and two walks with seven strikeouts over 7 2/3 innings. The Braves are hitting .196 as a team.

On Friday evening, the Twins will host the Angels, with Tommy Milone opposing Garrett Richards. The Braves visit the Marlins, sending Williams Perez out to the mound against Wei-Yin Chen.

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.