Former Padres, Tigers GM takes a job with the Nippon Ham Fighters

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Kyodo News reports that Randy Smith, the former general manager of the Padres and Tigers who, for the past few years, has worked for the Padres once again, has accepted a position as a senior advisor for the Nippon Ham Fighters of the Pacific League.

Not the sort of move you hear about every day but, as the story notes, Smith, the Padres and the Fighters have a lot of common history and overlap.

Smith ran the Padres from 1993-95 and led the club to a 166-229 while presiding over one of the more notable fire sales in baseball history. He then moved on to Detroit where, between 1996 and 2002, the Tigers posted a record of 398-554. Those, as many have noted, was not exactly the best years in Detroit baseball history.

In Japan he won’t be tasked with building a team — the Fighters were this year’s Japan Series champs — so Nippon Ham partisans should not be too concerned about him doing for them what he did with the Padres and Tigers.

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.