Dansby Swanson will likely not be on the Braves NLDS roster

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The Braves will travel to Los Angeles to face the Dodgers in the NLDS, with action kicking off on Thursday. That action will be kicking off without Dansby Swanson, however.

Swanson is still dealing with ligament damage in his left hand suffered in a game a week ago against the Mets. It’s a serious injury, the type which you would normally expect to put a player on the disabled list for a good while if it occurred earlier in the season, but the Braves and Swanson were holding out hope. He took some swings over the weekend and felt pain. He was scheduled to take swings again yesterday, but he didn’t even bother. All of that points to him not being ready for Thursday’s game. Brian Snitker will not want to be shorthanded for the best-of-five series, so expect Swanson not to be on the NLDS roster. I’d guess that he’d not be available for the NLCS either, should the Braves advance that far.

That means former Dodger Charlie Culberson will play short. Culberson’s bat has been better than Swanson’s all year, and it’s unlikely that who is playing short for Atlanta will be a top-3 determining factor in how they fare in the series, but it’s certainly the case that the Braves will take a defensive hit without Swanson at short.

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.