José Ramírez joins 30-30 club

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With a first-inning stolen base against the Blue Jays on Sunday afternoon, Indians third baseman José Ramírez joined the 30-30 club. He is the first player to join the club this season and is, in fact, the first 30-30 player since the Angels’ Mike Trout had 49 steals and 30 homers in 2012. Ramírez is the third Indian with a 30-30 season, joining Joe Carter (1987) and Grady Sizemore (2008).

Mookie Betts (29 HR, 27 SB), Trevor Story (31 HR, 25 SB), Francisco Lindor (33 HR, 23 SB), Trout (33 HR, 22 SB), and Javier Báez (30 HR, 21 SB) are all close to joining the 30-30 club with Ramírez this season. There have been 61 total 30-30 seasons since 1871, according to Baseball Reference. 24 of them have come since 2000. We hadn’t seen a 20-20 season in five years because teams aren’t attempting steals the way they used to. In 2012, all 30 teams combined for 3,229 stolen bases. Last year, they combined for 2,527.

Ramírez finished 0-for-4 in the Indians’ 6-2 loss to the Jays on Sunday. On the season, he’s batting .282/.395/.574 with 37 home runs, 97 RBI, 96 runs scored, and 30 stolen bases in 620 plate appearances. Ramírez will certainly be in the discussion for the AL MVP Award.

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.