Rays extend Kevin Cash through 2024

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Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Tampa Bay Rays have signed manager Kevin Cash to an extension through 2024. Cash had one year left on his original five-year $5-million contract, with two team options. That’s all now absorbed by the new deal, the financial particulars of which are not yet known.

Cash will receive strong consideration for AL Manager of the year this year after guiding a Rays team many thought would be pretty bad to a 90-win season. He did so despite the fact that the front office shed several veterans last offseason, some of which came in straight salary dumps. Cash was able to get maximum effort out of a cast of young players while simultaneously implementing a radical new approach to starting pitching via the use of multiple scheduled bullpen days and the advent of the “opener” strategy.

Cash holds a 318-330 (.491) record over four seasons as manager. The future for him and the Rays looks far brighter, however.

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.