Hendriks, Hader selected as top MLB relievers of 2021

Dale Young-USA TODAY Sports
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CARLSBAD, Calif.- Chicago’s Liam Hendriks earned his second straight Mariano Rivera Award as the American League Reliever of the Year on Wednesday, and Milwaukee’s Josh Hader won his third Trevor Hoffman Award as the National League Reliever of the Year.

Hendriks had an 8-3 record and 38 saves in 44 chances with a 2.54 ERA and 113 strikeouts in 71 innings during his first season with the White Sox.

Hader was 4-2 with a career-best 1.23 ERA and 34 saves in 35 chances. He also won in 2018 and ’19. He struck out 102 in 58 2/3 innings.

Voting was based on regular season performance and was conducted among seven former relievers: Rivera, Hoffman, Dennis Eckersley, Rollie Fingers, Lee Smith, John Franco and Billy Wagner.

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.