Dodgers to sign Jimmy Nelson

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Jorge Castillo of the Los Angeles Times reports that the Dodgers have signed pitcher Jimmy Nelson to a one-year deal. He’ll make $1 million in 2020, with incentives that could triple that. There is a vesting mutual option for 2021 that is much more valuable, perhaps as much as $12-13 million. This is, obviously, a make-good deal for Nelson and a low-risk flyer for the Dodgers on a pitcher who has lost, basically, the last two seasons due to injury.

Nelson, you may recall, suffered dislocated his shoulder after diving back to first base following a single he had half a thought of turning into a double late in the 2017 season. He then underwent surgery to repair a partially torn labrum and strained rotator cuff. The rehab cost him all of 2018. He pitched in ten games last season, three as a starter, and was ineffective. He fared better before that in some minor league work. Shoulder injuries are rough.

Prior to the injury, Nelson was finishing up his best season of his career. He placed ninth among 2017 NL Cy Young Award candidates after turning in a 12-6 record in 29 starts and a 3.49 ERA, 2.5 BB/9, 10.2 SO/9, and 4.8 fWAR across 175.1 innings.

If Nelson can regain part of his old form he’ll be a useful addition to the Dodgers. But like I said: shoulder injuries are rough, so it’s hard to tell what Los Angeles is getting.

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.