James Paxton exits in first inning after taking comebacker off of pitching arm

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Mariners starter James Paxton was forced out of Tuesday night’s start against the Athletics after being hit by a Jed Lowrie line drive on his pitching arm. Paxton gave up a leadoff home run to Marcus Semien and struck out Matt Chapman prior to Lowrie’s at-bat.

Félix Hernández, recently demoted to the bullpen, relieved Paxton, walking Khris Davis before inducing an inning-ending ground ball double play from Matt Olson.

The Mariners should pass along an update on Paxton’s status shortly. The left-hander entered Tuesday’s start 10-5 with a 3.63 ERA and a 175/37 K/BB ratio in 139 innings. The third-place Mariners are very much in the hunt for the AL West title, trailing the Astros by only 4.5 games. Losing Paxton, even if only for a start or two, would be a huge blow.

Update (11:48 PM ET): Paxton has a left forearm contusion and is considered day-to-day.

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.