Orioles aiming to get Zach Britton back next week

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The Orioles are hoping to get closer Zach Britton back from the 60-day disabled list next week, MASN’s Roch Kubatko reports. Britton ruptured his right Achilles tendon during an offseason workout in December.

Britton began a rehab assignment on May 30. He will pitch on back-to-back days on Monday and Tuesday, giving the Orioles an idea as to whether or not he’s ready to be activated. In four rehab appearances thus far, Britton has allowed two hits and hit a batter while striking out five in 4 1/3 scoreless innings.

The 19-41 Orioles have not had many save opportunities, but Brad Brach has handled them when they have popped up. He’s 10-for-11 in save chances with a 3.13 ERA and a 25/12 K/BB ratio. Brach figures to remain in the closer’s role as the O’s ease Britton back into things but will eventually cede the role if Britton proves effective.

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

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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.