Ballplayer taxes are really, really complicated

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It’s tax day. You got three extra days this year because of, um, Leap Year or the supermoon or Trump or something. I’m too busy to check. But today is the day by which you have to have your return filed barring an extension. It’s a stressful time for most folks who wait to do such things. You insane people who do your taxes in January are the worst sorts, really.

Over at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Stephen Nesbitt has an enlightening article about the challenges baseball players have in filing their taxes. No, it’s not a story about rich people complaining about their rates or anything like that. It’s about the complications in filing which come from playing in multiple cities and multiple states each year. And in dealing with demotions to the minor leagues and what you do while on rehab assignments in Florida or wherever. And, of course, all of the hidden municipal taxes levied on just pro athletes.

The next time you hear an athlete complain about his taxes, don’t be quick to think he’s complaining about how much he pays. It’s probably about how many different places he pays and just how hard it is for he — or, hopefully, his accountant — to keep track of it all.

Free agent slugger José Abreu signs 3-year 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 contract, adding another powerful bat to Houston’s lineup.

Abreu, the 2020 AL MVP, 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 is scheduled to be introduced in a news conference at Minute Maid Park.