Dodgers move Cody Bellinger off first base due to ailing shoulder

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Cody Bellinger returned to the Dodgers’ lineup on Monday night against the Braves, playing right field rather than first base. That will be the case going forward, MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick reports, due to Bellinger’s ailing right shoulder. Bellinger partially dislocated his right (non-throwing) shoulder on Friday night diving for a ball. Presumably, Bellinger is less likely to exacerbate his shoulder injury in the outfield than at first base.

Manager Dave Roberts said, “I do think, going forward, him being an outfielder makes the most sense. Being at first base, a potential dive, we’ll see how that goes as time goes by.”

Bellinger, 23, is no stranger to the outfield. He’s logged 1,072 defensive innings there since 2017, compared to 1,616 1/3 innings at first base and has played in the outfield more often this year.

The Dodgers understandably want to do anything they can to keep Bellinger’s bat in the lineup, as he entered Monday’s action batting .412/.486/.840 with 14 home runs, 38 RBI, and 32 runs scored in 142 plate appearances. He leads all of baseball in batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, OPS (1.326), adjusted OPS (248), total bases (100), RBI, runs scored, and hits (49).

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.