Report: Braves trying to buy draft picks by taking on bad contracts

AP Photo/David Tulis

Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports is reporting that the Braves are looking to buy tradable draft picks by taking on other teams’ bad contracts if those teams include draft picks in the deal. So far, no one has bit, Passan adds.

The Braves entered play on Thursday night with a 4-17 record, easily the worst in baseball. The club has made no secret it has embraced tanking as they prepare to move into their new stadium. Finishing with the worst record in baseball will net them the first overall pick in the 2017 draft. Adding more and more draft picks will simply increase the odds that they will discover a great player.

The Braves’ Opening Day payroll was only $86 million, their lowest since 2010. The club has less than $50 million in obligations for next season so it can certainly afford to take on a bad contract or two to stock up on young talent.

Free agent slugger José Abreu signs 3-year, $58.5M deal with Astros

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

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.