Angels extend losing streak to 10 games

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The Angels were bested by the Indians on Sunday, 5-4, running their season-high losing streak to 10 games. The Indians wrapped up a four-game series sweep. Prior to that, the Angels were swept in a two-game set against the Cubs and in a three-game series versus the Mariners as well as losing the final game of their three-game set with the Athletics.

At 49-68, the Angels sit in last place in the AL West and are only 2.5 games “ahead” of the Twins for the worst record in the league. They’re not so bad going by run differential. At -35, five teams in the league — the Rays, Royals, White Sox, Twins, and Athletics — are worse. The Angels’ expected won-lost record based on their run differential has them six games better than they are now.

It’s been a rough year made worse by a plethora of injuries. Presently, four players are on the 15-day disabled list and five — including three members of the starting rotation and Nick Tropeano, who had been bandied between Triple-A and the majors as rotation depth — are on the 60-day disabled list. To add to that, closer Huston Street and lights-out reliever Cam Bedrosian are sidelined as well.

Outfielder Mike Trout is in the midst of another MVP-caliber season but it’s all for naught as, for the fifth time in six seasons since he’s been in the majors, the Angels will be playing golf when the playoffs begin.

The Angels arguably have baseball’s worst minor league system. One wonders if the Angels, who have Trout under contract through 2020, would consider moving him for a king’s ransom of prospects. Trout has a full no-trade clause, but would most likely give the thumbs-up on a deal to a contender.

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.