David Wright to be activated on September 25, likely to retire at season’s end

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The Mets just held a press conference to announce what they’re doing with third baseman and captain David Wright. The plan: they will activate him on September 25 and he will start at third base on September 29, during the Mets’ final home stand of the 2018 season.

Wright strongly implied during the press conference that this will be it too, and that he will retire at the end of the season, saying that playing baseball is “debilitating” to his health and that “there’s not going to be an improvement” in the problems that have cost him so much time. He said that September 29 is “obviously very important” to him. Wright, speaking to his teammates who attended the press conference with him, added, “it’s truly been an honor to take the field with you, and serve as your captain. To the fans, words can’t address my gratitude.”

Wright, as you know, hasn’t appeared in a major league game since May 27, 2016 due to neck, back, and shoulder injuries. He had been rehabbing in the minors until the first of September and has been with the Mets, rehabbing on the side, since then. As is typical for the Mets there has been confusion as to what the actual plan was, with Wright strongly suggesting he was ready to play while the Mets seemed inclined to hold him back.

Some have suggested that the Mets’ inclination was financially-motivated in that, as long as Wright is on the disabled list, insurance will cover much of his salary. If he’s active, the Mets are on the hook. If Wright does, in fact, retire, the Mets will be off the hook for the $27 million he is still owed for the final two seasons of the eight-year, $138 million contract he signed with the team December of 2012.

As of the season’s final week, however, that question will be resolved, at least for a couple of days. Wright will be active and in uniform, perhaps pinch hitting and stuff during their series against the Braves mid-week, but starting at third base against the Marlins on Saturday the 29. Then, after that, he appears poised to walk off into the sunset, having left the game as an active player.

Expect a full house at Citi Field.

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.