Report: At least six teams are interested in Zach Britton

Baltimore Orioles v Toronto Blue Jays
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Jon Heyman of Fancred reports that “at least” six teams have expressed interest in dealing for Orioles reliever Zach Britton. That list appears to include the Cubs, Astros, Yankees, Red Sox, Giants, Phillies, Braves and Dodgers, though ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick says the latter two teams may have less interest in working something out, especially as the Dodgers try to remain under the luxury tax threshold. The Braves, on the other hand, may not be able to remain competitive with others teams’ offers unless they’re willing to give up top-shelf prospects, which Crasnick suggests they’re reluctant to do.

Britton, 30, has been severely limited this season due to a lengthy recovery from a ruptured Achilles tendon. He underwent surgery during the offseason and was officially reinstated on June 11; since then, he’s collected four saves and pitched to a 3.45 ERA, 5.7 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 across 15 2/3 innings. The left-hander stands to earn $12 million in 2018 and is poised to enter free agency at season’s end.

Crasnick adds that the Orioles are hoping to wrap up a potential deal sometime in the next week. Each one of the eight teams that have been connected to the lefty reliever so far are currently positioned to make a run at the playoffs and could benefit from the extra boost to their bullpen as the second half of the season kicks off. Britton’s last (and only) postseason performance came in 2014, during which he issued two runs, five walks and five strikeouts through 4 2/3 innings before the Orioles got knocked out in the ALCS.

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.