What’s on Tap: Previewing Wednesday night’s action

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Wednesday blessed us with six afternoon games, the results of which you can find here. There’s still plenty of baseball left in the evening.

Red Sox starter Steven Wright was named to his first All-Star roster on Tuesday. The noted knuckleballer is second in the American League in ERA at 2.42, behind the Indians’ Danny Salazar at 2.36. He is being considered to start the All-Star Game at Petco Park next Tuesday.

Knuckleballers haven’t typically been featured in All-Star Games for a host of reasons. They’re a rare breed. They’re inconsistent. As good as R.A. Dickey and Tim Wakefield have been, they have respective career ERA’s of 3.97 and 4.41. They also need a catcher capable of catching the knuckleball. The American League has three catching options: Salvador Perez, Matt Wieters, and Stephen Vogt. Perez is the starter, as he received by far the most votes from fans. Perez has never caught a knuckleballer, as Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports notes. Wright is proving to be an interesting wrinkle, as AL manager Ned Yost has to navigate his way around some extra variables.

Wright starts tonight opposite Rangers starter Martin Perez in a 7:10 PM EDT start at Fenway Park.

The rest of Wednesday night’s action…

Kansas City Royals (Ian Kennedy) @ Toronto Blue Jays (Marcus Stroman), 7:07 PM EDT

Los Angeles Angels (Jered Weaver) @ Tampa Bay Rays (Drew Smyly), 7:10 PM EDT

New York Yankees (Michael Pineda) @ Chicago White Sox (Miguel Gonzalez), 8:10 PM EDT

Seattle Mariners (Wade LeBlanc) @ Houston Astros (Mike Fiers), 8:10 PM EDT

Pittsburgh Pirates (Jeff Locke) @ St. Louis Cardinals (Jaime Garcia), 8:15 PM EDT

San Diego Padres (Colin Rea) @ Arizona Diamondbacks (Shelby Miller), 9:40 PM EDT

Colorado Rockies (Jorge De La Rosa) @ San Francisco Giants (Johnny Cueto), 10:15 PM EDT

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.