Freddie Freeman is having a pretty good season

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Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman went 1-for-3 with a pair of walks and a two-run home run in Thursday afternoon’s 9-6 victory over the Padres. At the time, his dinger broke a scoreless tie.

Freeman now has 28 home runs, extending a career-high. He only has 68 RBI, but that’s more a function of how mediocre the hitters in front of him have been. He’s also sporting an outstanding .289/.389/.553 triple-slash line. The batting average and slugging percentage would easily mark new career bests if the season were to end today.

No one’s really talking about how good of a season Freeman is having as far as I can tell. Granted, Kris Bryant and Corey Seager are having much better seasons and the NL MVP race will probably come down to them. Further, Freeman plays first base, where he has a lot of competition. Among first basemen, Joey Votto and Anthony Rizzo have hit slightly better, but everyone outside of Cincinnati appreciates how good Votto is and Rizzo has gotten tons of attention playing on the 85-47 Cubs, who have already wrapped up a postseason spot if you go by Baseball Prospectus. And Freeman plays on the 51-83 Braves, who are tanking in their final year at Turner Field.

But by WAR, Freeman is the sixth-most valuable player in the National League, tied — if you round to tenths — with Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado at 4.6 according to FanGraphs. (Arenado has a slight lead once you round out to hundredths.) By wRC+, an all-encompassing offensive Sabermetric stat that sets 100 at average, Freeman’s 146 is sixth-best in the NL behind Bryant (162), Daniel Murphy (155), Votto (150), Yoenis Cespedes (150), and Rizzo (147). Freeman is one of seven players this season with an adjusted OPS (or OPS+) — like wRC+ but with OPS instead of weighting individual offensive components — at 150 or above.

I’m not saying Freeman should win the NL MVP or anything, but I do feel like his season has really flown under the radar. He’s been a top-ten player in the league and a top-three player at his position.

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.