Yankees finalize Aaron Boone’s coaching staff for 2022

Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
0 Comments

NEW YORK — The New York Yankees have finalized manager Aaron Boone’s coaching staff for 2022, including new additions at hitting coach, first base coach and third base coach.

Bench coach Carlos Mendoza, pitching coach Matt Blake and catching coordinator Tanner Swanson are back for their third seasons in pinstripes, while bullpen coach Mike Harkey returns for a 13th year, the club said. New to the staff are hitting coach Dillon Lawson, assistant hitting coaches Eric Chavez and Casey Dykes, third base/outfield coach Luis Rojas, first base/infield coach Travis Chapman and assistant pitching coach Desi Druschel.

New York fired hitting coach Marcus Thames, third base coach Phil Nevin and assistant hitting coach P.J. Pilittere after the Yankees went 92-70 and lost the AL wild-card game against Boston. First base coach Reggie Willits left to coach at the University of Oklahoma.

The 36-year-old Lawson was promoted after three years as New York’s minor league hitting coordinator. He’ll be helped on the offensive side by Chavez and Dykes. Chavez, 44, had a 17-year big league career and spent the past five seasons as a special assistant with the Los Angeles Angels. The 31-year-old Dykes was the hitting coach for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre last season.

Rojas was fired by the Mets in October after two underwhelming years as manager. The 40-year-old was with the Mets organization for 16 years. He was replaced in Queens by Buck Showalter, who held his introductory press conference Tuesday.

Chapman is entering his 10th season with the Yankees. Most recently, the 43-year-old was New York’s minor league infield coordinator.

The 46-year-old Druschel spent the past three years as the club’s manager of pitch development.

Free agent slugger José Abreu signs 3-year, $58.5M deal with Astros

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
0 Comments

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.