It’s unclear who is running the Orioles

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The 2018 Baltimore Orioles have lost 104 games already and will go down in history as one of the worst teams ever.

Not the worst team. There were a lot of teams that were bigger train wrecks than this crew. But they would be invited to the train wreck party. They’d have a seat at the train wreck adult table and would be more likely to help take the other guests’ train wreck coats as they arrived than they would have to ask where the train wreck bathroom was, for example. They could help themselves to the train wreck liquor cabinet without asking permission because, hey, they’re good.

OK, that metaphor was bad to begin, got worse as it went along with and needs a LOT of work to fix. But the same can be said about the Baltimore Orioles too. Fixing the metaphor only requires me to workshop it on my laptop a bit. Fixing the Orioles requires someone to take charge of a massive rebuild.

There’s only one problem with that:

As the Orioles barrel toward their worst season in franchise history, they need to decide more than just the futures of manager Buck Showalter and lead baseball executive Dan Duquette.

Major League Baseball wants to know who in the Orioles’ ownership group is running the club, and how the team plans to operate in the future, according to major-league sources.

That’s Ken Rosenthal at The Athletic, reporting that the league has not heard from Peter Angelos all year and wants to know who, in reality, is the control person of the club.

That’s a specific position within MLB hierarchy, by the way. Each team has a “control person” that answers to the league. Usually that’s easy to figure out — with the Yankees it’s Hal Steinbrenner, for example — but it’s pretty messy with the Orioles, as longtime owner Peter Angelos, 89, is reported to be in failing health. Rosenthal reports that his sons, John and Louis, are in charge, but it’s unclear who might have final word.

It’s probably more important for the organization to have someone clearly in charge than it is for MLB. Because, as noted above, the club needs to rebuild and, at the moment, both the manager and the GM are lame ducks. Neither of the Angelos sons are talking to the press however, and it’s unclear what’ll happen to them.

It should be a fun offseason in Baltimore.

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.