Giancarlo Stanton’s homers to give Marlins fans a big discount on tickets

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SAN DIEGO — Giancarlo Stanton‘s 61 homers in last night’s home run derby were fantastic to watch. Unless you were Jeff Loria, that is, because as he watched each ball leave Petco Park he could probably picture money leaving his pocket. That’s because his marketing department decided to tie discounted tickets to Stanton’s home run total.

Yesterday, the Marlins announced an advertising initiative with the slogan,”when Giancarlo homers, you score!” The offer held that for each homer Stanton hit, the club would reduce a future Marlins ticket purchase by one percent. Stanton’s 61 bombs, then, meant for a pretty hefty 61% discount on tickets. That’s way more than whoever came up with the idea likely expected given that the previous record for a Home Run Derby total was 41, set by Bobby Abreu in 2005.

Or . . . at least it seemed to be. ESPN reports that, last night, Marlins president David Samson explained that they could not discount any tickets sold in the regular course through its website by more than 25% per MLBAM rules. And as it was, the 25% discount would only be applicable to 35 specific Marlins games, not all. The Marlins, however, are going to look into having a game in the future specially designated to allow for the 61% discount.

That’s not quite as sweet as the “any future tickets discounted” offer it seemed the Marlins were announcing yesterday, but it’s not nothing. Certainly not nothing for a penny-pinching organization like the Malrins.

Free agent slugger José Abreu signs 3-year deal with Astros

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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.