Yu Darvish thinks Cubs fans hate him

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Steve Greenberg of the Chicago Sun-Times spoke to Cubs catcher Chris Gimenez, and Gimenez tells him that Yu Darvish thinks Cubs fans hate him:

“I think he thinks that Chicago hates him for going on the DL a couple of times . . . He reads Twitter. He reads all that stuff. We all do. Honestly, I know it upsets him — and rightfully so.”

Gimenez tells Darvish, though, that it’ll all be good if and when the Cubs are in the playoffs and he’s playing well, correctly noting that this dynamic is very much an of-the-moment thing. Especially when it involves a high-priced free agent for whom there are high expectations.

For now, though, yeah: Darvish is not making Cubs fans happy. He has only made eight starts on the season and in those eight starts he’s given up 22 earned runs in 40 innings and is walking guys at a higher rate than at any time in his career. At the moment he’s back on the 10-day DL with inflammation in his right triceps and is expected to miss a couple more starts.

All of which makes it hard to get back into Cubs fans’ good graces. But, as is the case with most guys catching hell from a fan base, it’ll all go away if the team does well and he’s a part of that success.

Free agent slugger José Abreu signs 3-year, $58.5M deal with Astros

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

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.