Jay Bruce will bat cleanup tonight, wear number 19 for the Mets


C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer caught up with Jay Bruce as he was getting ready to fly to New York to join the Mets and found out some stuff about the New York’s new outfielder.

First, he’ll be batting cleanup and playing right field for his new club. Second, he got the lowdown on the uniform number he’ll be wearing:

Could be a Joey Votto tribute. Could be Roger Cedeno, Anthony Young or Ryan Church tribute. Who’s to say? His Reds #32 is either not sentimental to him or else he doesn’t feel like paying Steven Matz money or buying him a watch or whatever in order to take it from him.

That caused me to do a deep-dive into Mets uniform numbers. My favorite entry by far was number 24. You probably heard of two of the Mets players who wore that number. One is named Mays. The other Henderson. You probably never heard of the guy who wore it in between those two:

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Kelvin Torve, huh? Not much of a big league career, but it’s good to see that he had a couple of nice seasons in Japan at the end. I hope he made enough dough to buy a nice split level someplace where he can entertain guests and talk about the company he keeps as a #24 for the New York Mets.

Indeed, I jokingly speculated about that on Twitter a few minutes ago and the response I got reminded me of why I hang out on Twitter all day:

Willie Mays and Rickey Henderson are what makes baseball great. But the Kelvin Torves of the world are what make it fun.

Good luck with #19, Jay.

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

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

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.