Top prospect leaves Cuba to play in the United States

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Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com reports that one of the top prospects in Cuba, 21 year-old Victor Victor Mesa, and his younger brother Victor Mesa Jr., 16, have left their country to come to the United States to play.

The Mesas are the sons of long-time Cuban National Team manager Victor Mesa Sr., who in addition to his baseball legend, is rather fond of the name “Victor.”

Last year Sanchez wrote that the elder Mesa son, Victor Victor, is a super fast and is a plus defender in the outfield who stole bases and hit for power in Serie Nacional play, which is Cuba’s top domestic league, where he began play at the age of 16.

Despite his extensive experience Victor Victor will be considered an amateur free agent for Major League Baseball’s purposes, subject to the stringent bonus cap, as will his teenage brother. Before they can sign with any organization, however, MLB will have to declare them free agents, which takes some time and paperwork.

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.