What’s on Tap: Previewing Monday’s action

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Jordan Zimmermann was supposed to be the center of attention last Wednesday as it was his first time back in Washington, D.C. since signing a five-year, $110 million contract with the Tigers. The former National was quickly overshadowed by the dominance of opposing starter Max Scherzer, who would go on to strike out 20 batters in a 119-pitch complete game win. Zimmermann notched a quality start, but it wasn’t his locker the media rushed towards after the game.

Zimmermann is worthy of some attention, however. The right-hander is now 5-2 with an American League-best 1.50 ERA and a 28/11 K/BB ratio in 48 innings. He has been the lone bright spot in an underperforming Tigers rotation. Justin Verlander Has a 4.71 ERA over eight starts, Anibal Sanchez 5.91 over eight, Mike Pelfrey 5.80 over seven, while Shane Greene and Michael Fulmer each have ERA’s over 6.00 in seven combined starts. Without Zimmermann, who knows where the 16-21, fourth-place Tigers would be right now.

Tonight, Zimmermann will take on the Twins in a home start at 7:10 PM EDT. He’ll oppose youngster Jose Berrios.

The rest of Monday’s action…

Cincinnati Reds (John Lamb) @ Cleveland Indians (Cody Anderson), 6:10 PM EDT

Atlanta Braves (Williams Perez) @ Pittsburgh Pirates (Jon Niese), 7:05 PM EDT

Boston Red Sox (Rick Porcello) @ Kansas City Royals (Yordano Ventura), 7:05 PM EDT

Miami Marlins (Adam Conley) @ Philadelphia Phillies (Jerad Eickhoff), 7:05 PM EDT

Tampa Bay Rays (Drew Smyly) @ Toronto Blue Jays (J.A. Happ), 7:07 PM EDT

New York Yankees (Chad Green) @ Arizona Diamondbacks (Robbie Ray), 9:40 PM EDT

Texas Rangers (Derek Holland) @ Oakland Athletics (Sean Manaea), 10:05 PM EDT

Los Angeles Angels (Matt Shoemaker) @ Los Angeles Dodgers (Kenta Maeda), 10:10 PM EDT

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.