Report: Athletics to sign Brett Anderson

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Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that the Athletics and pitcher Brett Anderson are close to an agreement on a major league contract, pending a physical.

Anderson tweeted, “Fingers crossed for a passed physical tomorrow.”

Anderson, 31, signed a minor league contract with the A’s last March, making 17 starts during the regular season with a 4.48 ERA and a 47/13 K/BB ratio in 80 1/3 innings. The lefty battled a shoulder injury that kept him out between mid-May and early July. Anderson has historically had trouble staying healthy, crossing the 20-start threshold just once in a season (2015) since after his rookie campaign in 2009. He has made a total of 33 starts over the last three seasons.

For at least the first half of the upcoming season, the Athletics’ rotation will be missing Sean Manaea, Jharel Cotton, and Daniel Gossett, so Anderson will provide some much-needed depth at the back end. The front end of the rotation is not particularly inspiring as it includes Mike Fiers, Daniel Mengden, and Marco Estrada. Carrie Muskat reported for the Associated Press yesterday that the A’s are considering using “openers,” popularized by the Rays last year. Anderson could potentially be one of the starters who doesn’t officially start if the club opts to use an opener.

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.