Orioles moving LF fence back at Camden Yards

Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports
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BALTIMORE- The Orioles are moving the wall in left field back as much as 30 feet in an effort to make Oriole Park at Camden Yards a bit easier on pitchers.

An Orioles spokesman confirmed the team’s plans Wednesday, sharing an email sent to fans whose seats will be affected.

“For the start of the 2022 season, the distance from home plate to the left field wall will be pushed back as much as 30 feet, in varying increments at different points in the wall, and the height will raise approximately 5 feet,” the email said. “By pushing back the left field wall, we’ve created a playing field that is fair for both pitchers and hitters.”

Baltimore hit 122 home runs at home last year and 73 on the road. Orioles pitchers allowed 155 homers at home, compared to just 103 on the road.

“While Oriole Park will remain a hitter’s ballpark, it will no longer be an outlier among the parks,” the email to fans said.

Last year’s dimensions at Camden Yards were 333 feet to left and 364 to left-center. The fence was 7 feet high.

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.