Athletics minor leaguer Sean Murphy dies

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Sad, sad news: Oakland Athletics minor league pitcher Sean Murphy died in Arizona on Monday. He was 27. A cause of death was not given, though the Athletics said he passed away “unexpectedly.”

Murphy has been in the A’s system since 2010, when he was selected as a 33rd round pick. He played five seasons in the A’s system at various levels. The past year appears to have been an extraordinarily rough one for him. He missed the entire 2015 season due to having Tommy John surgery. This past February Murphy was suspended 50 games after he tested positive twice for a drug of abuse.

The A’s released the following statement yesterday:

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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.